Sony Music's publicity team didn't expect much of Destiny’s Child when they were signed as teenagers. But one woman, Yvette Noel-Schure, their longtime publicist, looked at Beyoncé, Kelly, LaTavia and LaToya and saw the flicker of world domination.
Beginning as an editor for Black Beat magazine, Noel-Schure eventually became a publicist at Sony Music and then Columbia, another label under the Sony umbrella, handling big acts like Prince and Mariah Carey before teaching Destiny’s Child’s original foursome to be such poised artists.
Noel-Schure, who still handles publicity for Beyoncé from her own independent company now, spoke to The Jake Sasseville Show about her early days with Destiny’s Child, including how her boss didn’t initially think much of the group. Growing up in the shadows of TLC and En Vogue, Noel-Schure says her supervisor just thought she could babysit DC until they moved on to another label or back home to Houston, Texas.
“I remember sitting at Columbia Records and Larry Jenkins, who I will praise to the day I die for giving me that opportunity, he said ‘We just signed a girl group from Houston, you just came from Black Beat, you can get along with these teenagers, dah. You should take them, dah.’ I knew in that moment that he did not know what the capacity for success would be for this girl group. TLC was so big, En Vogue a little older and killing it vocally and I don’t know if the plan was to set in place. I believe in that moment, Larry said, ‘If nothing comes of this, Yvette can teach them a few things and I don’t know that he expected me to be a great publicist to this great group. I think he thought ‘For as long as we have them on the label, Yvette can be a mother figure …
“I sat down with them [Destiny’s Child] and did makeup lessons but they were pretty advanced in terms of beauty because Ms. Tina Knowles was such a central figure in the lives of the girls of Destiny’s Child. Not just Beyoncé, but Kelly who was raised in her house, LaTavia and LeToya, the original two members, their friendship blossomed in that house. They understood about hair and how they wanted to look, it was the most incredible thing. But I knew in that moment that if Columbia Records trusted me with these young women, and if Tina Knowles and Matthew Knowles trusted me to leave a room and leave me with these young women and knew that if they walked out of a room, I wasn’t going to be shooting up a needle or smoking a blunt or cursing. These were young girls. I knew the responsibility of that moment and I knew being a publicist was not what I needed to do. I needed to be a teacher, a guide and a mentor.
There wasn’t a lot I could teach those girls, they could sing the “ABC’s” and make me look like … but it was about ‘Here’s how I live my life,’ ‘Here’s how I come to work and I work really, really hard.’ I can not teach you how to sing but I will tell you that when you enter the room, your interview has begun. Everything is on the record, what you say, what you did, if you were slumping in your chair — so don’t slump in your chair because that’s going to be part of the description in the interview.
One of the things I know that Beyoncé probably appreciates about me, especially now that she has created her own family… is that I always said to the girls, at the end of everything, ‘I’m going home to my babies.’ It got to the point where the girls of Destiny’s Child used to mouth it to me after the interviews or a press day and I would say ‘I’m going to meet my babies’ and they’d mouth ‘She’s going to meet her babies.’
I was making it very clear that the work is over now for me.
Beyoncé doesn't just get her unyielding professionalism from her mama, Ms. Tina, but also Mrs. Noel-Schure. Bow down.
Image via Getty.