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Beyoncé: All of us, since we were little bitty kids, [have admired people]like Whitney Houston, Anita Baker, Michael Jackson. All these wonderful singers, they inspired us to get up there and do what they did.

Everyday life experiences inspire you to get up there on stage and perform.

I know as a writer the struggles, the hard times, the happy times, the beautiful times; those special moments inspire me.

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And the fans inspire me. They send you letters and they say "Your song helped me not commit suicide," or "My father was molesting me, and I felt like I was inadequate and stupid and I would listen to your songs and it would help me feel like I could survive." Those type of fan letters inspire you to get up there and do more positive things. And when you get on stage and you perform, that feeling inspires you to work hard so you can feel that, because I think none of us are as happy as we are when we are on stage.

Kelly: Sometimes you get tired, and you feel like you're not going to make it through the day. But you always need to say a little prayer, and ask God to give you strength and just the courage to make it through the day. Sometimes you feel like you can't do it any more, I'm tired, I'm not going to get through it. But obviously you can make it, because He wouldn't give you another day to live and all these things to do if you couldn't make it. He'll send something to you in your day to tell you if you can do something or not, but if everything is clear and you're supposed to do it, it's going to happen.

Beyoncé: [On the inspiration for Bootylicious, their latest single]I was on a plane one day. It was a long flight and I couldn't sleep so I went into my bag of tracks. I heard the Stevie Nicks track and it was just this bass line looped for four minutes. It was real empty and different from the music people our age listen to right now, which was real cool to me. I thought, you know what, we need a song like this, music right now needs a song like this, R&B. Pop needs something that's not the same type of song. It's different and funky, and feel-good music with real live instruments. And all I could think about was being on the dance floor and feeling good, and sexy and fly and bootylicious. I was too nervous to tell the girls about the word, 'cause I don't know what crap I got the word from. Maybe it was the plane getting to my head.

The song's about self-esteem, about feeling good no matter how short, skinny, fat, tall you are. It's about being bootylicious and feeling all right -- nobody can handle me 'cause I'm just feeling fly tonight!

Michelle: [On work schedules]Some days you start at six in the morning and some days you don't do anything till three in the afternoon, and that's like, Wow! And it's like I've never been so excited to know that I can get four hours of sleep.

Beyoncé: [Last night]we got in around 1 [a.m.]'cause we had a performance that went late, and we had to get up at six, and we had to pack. And once you get off the stage it takes at least an hour to calm down 'cause you're so excited, you're just running around, and we hadn't performed a whole show in a month. We've been doing TV and promoting, so we haven't done tours, we did a 30-minute show last night and we were bouncing off the walls.

Kelly: Our managers always taught us to be a mystery. People don't want to see an artist everywhere they go. People will just say "Aw, I just saw her the other night!" There's no mystery about you and people should always wonder where are those girls from Destiny's Child 'cause when they see you they'll be like, we should take advantage of this time!

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Michelle: [On advice to aspiring artists]Definitely follow your dream, know what it is you want to do, don't let anybody tell you that you can't do it 'cause those are the ones who are always being negative and trying to bring you down. Don't hang around negative people. Be patient, if things don't happen as quickly as you'd like them to, practise all the time, sing, dance, whatever you do. If you are a poet, write and go to the poet clubs at night, do your thing. Destiny's Child performs Aug. 13 at Toronto's Air Canada Centre, Sept. 12 at Vancouver's GM Place and Sept. 17 at Calgary's Pengrowth Saddledome. They spoke to Rebecca Caldwell .

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