Beyonce Says She Was 'Underestimated' in Destiny's Child, Defends 'Formation' Message

The 34-year-old singer gave a rare interview to 'ELLE.'

Beyonce gives one of her first sit-down interviews in years, and opens up about the trials she's faced along her path to power.

The 34-year-old singer
revealed to ELLE magazine that even she had to prove herself as a superstar when coming up in Destiny's Child. "I'd say I discovered my power after the first Destiny's Child album. The label didn't really believe we were pop stars," Beyonce shares. "They underestimated us, and because of that, they allowed us to write our own songs and write our own video treatments. It ended up being the best thing, because that's when I became an artist and took control."

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The "Single Ladies" singer says the girl group, which also included Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams, "had a vision" for what they wanted the group to be, but "nobody really cared to ask" them.

"So we created it on our own, and once it was successful, I realized that we had the power to create whatever vision we wanted for ourselves," she adds. "We didn't have to go through other writers or have the label create our launch plans -- we had the power to create those things ourselves."

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Several solo albums later, the world is very interested in Beyonce's "vision," especially upon the release of her song "Formation." The music video for the track sparked controversy among law enforcement for a scene where a boy is dancing in front of a line of police officers, who eventually raise up their hands in surrender.

Then, during her Super Bowl Halftime performance, some of Beyonce's dancers dressed in attire that many said paid homage to Black Panther uniforms. They also held up a sign demanding justice for Mario Woods, a 26-year-old black man who was shot over 15 times by San Francisco police after allegedly slashing a stranger on the street.

Following this display, Beyonce faced some backlash from the Miami Fraternal Order of Police, who released a statement saying it would allow its members to boycott her show on April 27, over what the group believed to be anti-police symbolism during the halftime performance.

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"I mean, I'm an artist and I think the most powerful art is usually misunderstood. But anyone who perceives my message as anti-police is completely mistaken. I have so much admiration and respect for officers and the families of officers who sacrifice themselves to keep us safe," Beyonce tells the publication. "But let's be clear: I am against police brutality and injustice. Those are two separate things."

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Beyonce is adamant about standing by the lyrics and imagery chosen for "Formation."

"If celebrating my roots and culture during Black History Month made anyone uncomfortable, those feelings were there long before a video and long before me," she touts. "I'm proud of what we created and I'm proud to be a part of a conversation that is pushing things forward in a positive way."

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ET spoke exclusively with Beyonce after her Super Bowl show, and she was beyond pleased with the "Formation" message. "I wanted people to feel proud," Mrs. Carter said of her controversial song, "and have love for themselves."