How Beyoncé’s Mom’s Divorce Inspired the Singer to Shed Her Alter Ego
Beyoncé has been on stage since she was very young. Performing can be intimidating for anyone, and getting used to it as a child was a lot to ask. Along the way, she developed an alter ego to help her cope.
But eventually, it was time to let that alter ego go, and her mom helped her do it — without even realizing she was.
Beyoncé was Sasha Fierce
Beyoncé | ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images
Beyonce released the album I Am…Sasha Fierce in 2008. It was a commercial success, with danceable songs like the mega-hit “Single Ladies.” But it also introduced the world to her alter ego.
Beyoncé described Sasha Fierce as someone who took over for her when she was on stage. “Sasha Fierce is the fun, more sensual, more aggressive, more outspoken side and more glamorous side that comes out when I’m working and when I’m on the stage,” she explained.
Sasha helped Beyoncé feel safe. According to PBS, this can be a healthy thing for people to do, as long as they are able to distinguish between fantasy and reality.
But although Sasha gave Beyoncé a sense of security for many years, the time came when she realized that she didn’t need her anymore. Surprising.y, it was a painful awakening that helped her let go.
A complicated relationship with her father
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According to Yahoo, Matthew Knowles was Beyoncé’s manager from the time she was a child. She’s expressed gratitude for his support and encouragement through the years. But there was also a dark side to his involvement.
He was a demanding manager, even when Beyonce was young. LaTavia Robertson, one of the original members of Destiny’s Child, said, “Matthew did not mince his words and it can be tough to take that kind of criticism when you are a little girl.”
As Beyoncé grew up and started her solo career, Matthew continued as her manager. But as her success grew, new problems cropped up. An event promoter, Live Nation, told her that they believed Matthew was staying from her. Beyoncé had to figure out what she was going to do.
She found the strength she needed in her mom.
Letting Sasha go
Tina Knowles and Matthew had a tumultuous marriage. He left her when Beyoncé was only two months old, but before long he came back to try again. Over the decades they were married, Matthew was unfaithful many times. But in 2009, a new extramarital relationship pushed Tina to the breaking point.
The family was at an awards ceremony where Beyoncé was named Billboard’s Woman of the Year. She thanked her parents in a touching acceptance speech, but the warm family feeling wasn’t going to last long. Matthew was served with paternity papers at the event. He had fathered a child with another woman.
This was the final straw for Tina, and she filed for divorce. Although watching her parents’ marriage end was painful for Beyoncé, she was inspired by how her mother took control of her life at last.
It gave her the strength she needed to do the same for herself. She ordered an audit through a lawyer’s office of her finances. It revealed that Matthew had been stealing from her, as she suspected.
Beyoncé officially fired her dad in a very gentle announcement in 2011. In the years since they don’t seem to have had much of a relationship. When Matthew got married, neither Beyoncé nor her sister Solange attended the wedding. Although they seem to have gotten closer since he announced he was battling breast cancer last year, she has found the strength to take care of herself.
And now that she can, she doesn’t need to pretend to be someone else to feel powerful. She announced the fact in an interview, when she said of Sasha, “I killed her. I don’t need her anymore, because I’ve grown. And I’m able to merge the two personas.”