Beyonce Gets Dangerous

Singer at work on new album and new movie

Beyonce Knowles is in the studio this week with Missy Elliott and Timbaland working on tracks for her debut solo album, Dangerously in Love, due next spring. The twenty-one-year-old Destiny's Child star describes the set as "a mix of soul and hip-hop," and says she has already cut songs with the Neptunes, including her first solo single, "Work It Out," from the Goldmember soundtrack.

Knowles is also on the hunt for an undiscovered production talent. "I don't even look at who does the tracks when I listen to them, because there's some many people out there who do great tracks in their basements," she says. "I just want to give people a chance and get something that sounds a little different from everything else." Knowles, who won a 2002 ASCAP award for songwriter of the year, also plans on writing and producing some songs herself.

On the film front, Knowles will star opposite Cuba Gooding, Jr. in the Jonathan Lynn-directed The Fighting Temptations, due out in summer 2003. She plays a young unwed mother, who, of course, sings. "I had a wonderful time playing Lily," Knowles says of her character. "She is very earthy. She is very warm. And she doesn't like hypocrites [laughs]. Basically, she's been judged because she has a son, she's not married and it's a small town."

"She sings in a jazz club," Knowles explains. "She was in a church choir and that's like the big thing in this little small town, but they kicked her out because they think she's like a heathen. Then she meets Darren -- Cuba Gooding -- and they eventually fall in love, and he convinces her to get back in the choir."

Knowles not only gets to sing in the movie, but she'll contribute to the soundtrack, which will consist of gospel and R&B songs. "The great thing is that I'm doing music that I wouldn't normally do as Beyonce or Destiny's Child," she says. "I'm doing serious old-school hymns, and I get to do some really soulful, funky stuff with the O'Jays and with Angie Stone [who plays Alma in the film]. It was incredible to go into the studio with them and Melba Moore [who plays Bessie] and all these people I wouldn't normally work with. They have so much soul."