By People Staff
June 19, 2000 12:00 PM

Invited to perform alongside stars like Mariah Carey and Donna Summer at VH1’s Divas 2000: A Tribute to Diana Ross last April, the lesser-known teen vocal group Destiny’s Child was delighted—and somewhat stunned. “We’ve been watching the Supremes on video since we were small,” says Kelly Rowland, 19. “And here I was, standing right next to Diana Ross singing, ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.’ I was like, ‘Whoa! What’s next?’ ”

An even higher peak, it turns out. Rowland and lead singer Beyoncé (rhymes with fiancée) Knowles, 18, backed by recently recruited harmony singers Farrah Franklin and Michelle Williams, both 19, have scored two No. 1 pop singles, including the infectious “Say My Name,” while their sophomore album The Writing’s on the Wall has sold 5 million copies. “It’s like a roller coaster going up up up,” says Knowles. “I just pray it never drops.”

There have been a few downs, though. In March, two former Destiny members, LeToya Luckett, 19, and LaTavia Roberson, 18, sued Knowles’s father, Mathew, 48, the group’s manager since its founding in 1995, charging that he showed favoritism to his daughter (and, by inference, to Rowland, who has lived with the Knowleses in Houston since age 12). “They wanted to get a separate manager for themselves,” says Mathew, whose wife, Tina, 46, is the group’s wardrobe and hair stylist. “We have set a date to mediate” the dispute. “It hurts,” says Beyoncé. “I pray that one day we can be friends again.” Next month the band will go on a 35-city tour with Christina Aguilera. And in October their new song “Independent Woman” will be on the Charlie’s Angels movie soundtrack. And then? Destiny awaits. “When we’re 80—naw, 50 years old—I want us to be legends,” says Knowles. “I want to be like the Supremes.”