MTV News said it best: “Beyoncé had long since become the breakout star of the group.” But why? The other ladies were also talented vocalists and dancers, but Beyoncé seemed to have that je ne sais quoi. When the members of Destiny’s Child took a break to release their solo albums, the numbers said it all.

According to Billboard, Michelle Williams’ gospel release, Heart to Yours, “sold 17,000 copies in its top week;” Kelly Rowland’s alterna-pop project, Simply Deep, sold “77,000 units in its strongest week;” but Beyoncé’s R&B and hip-hop-infused Dangerously In Love “sold 317,000 copies” its first week. Those figures weren’t nearly as impressive as the women’s combined powers. Destiny’s Child’s Survivor album sold an impressive “663,000 units in its first week,” reported Billboard, but if these solo projects were a competition among group members, Beyoncé was clearly the winner.

She had a taste of what her career would be like sans Rowland and Williams, and it was only a matter of time before she really took the world by storm as a one-woman powerhouse.

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