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Solange Knowles is known for making music and maintaining an image that is markedly more low-key than her sister Beyoncé. Her artistic pursuits differ greatly from that of her sister’s, and it couldn’t be more evident in Solange’s latest endeavor: the “Cranes in the Sky” singer is composing music for the New York City Ballet.

Solange, who is composing music for the NYC Ballet, performing in a black dress
Solange | Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Solange’s soulful music is different from Beyoncé’s

Solange first got her start in entertainment as a backup dancer for Destiny’s Child before recording her debut album Solo Star in 2002. In the following years, she worked as an actor, appearing in films such as Bring It On: All Or Nothing. She released her sophomore album Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams in 2008. Her success grew even more with her 2012 EP True, which contained her beloved song “Losing You.”

Solange’s breakthrough came with her 2016 album A Seat at the Table. It was her first No. 1 album, with lead single “Cranes in the Sky” earning her her first Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance. Her 2019 album When I Get Home received similar acclaim, and solidified her place in the music industry.

While Beyoncé has crossed genres with much of her work, Solange’s music is notably more toned-down and soul-infused than most of her sister’s recordings.

Solange is composing music for the New York City Ballet

Solange and Beyoncé’s musical paths continue to diverge in 2022. Beyoncé released her disco and house album Renaissance to praise from fans and critics alike. Solange, meanwhile, is writing music for the ballet.

In August 2022, the New York City Ballet announced in a press release that Solange had composed a piece for a chamber ensemble orchestra to be featured in the Ballet’s Fall Fashion Gala. Solange’s composition will debut on September 28 at Lincoln Center, with additional performances in October 2022 and May 2023.

“Very excited to announce I’ve composed an original score for the New York City Ballet,” Solange shared on her Instagram following the announcement. 

Solange’s role has her behind the scenes as she writes the music for a piece that will be choreographed by Gianna Reisen, who became the youngest choreographer to work with the New York City Ballet in 2017. And while Solange herself might not be in the show, the press release promised that it will be performed by “some of the composer’s frequent musical collaborators.” In the past, this has included Dev Hynes, The-Dream, Sampha, Questlove, and even Lil Wayne.


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Many celebrities got their start as ballet dancers

Ballet is one of the most respected forms of dance performance, and training in ballet isn’t for the faint of heart.

It shouldn’t be surprising, then, that many celebrities and public figures today were at one point ballet dancers themselves. Sarah Jessica Parker, Penélope Cruz, Jennifer Garner, Amy Adams, Zoe Saldaña, Charlize Theron, Natalie Portman, Anya Taylor-Joy, Naomi Campbell, and even Christian Bale have all trained as ballet dancers in the past.

Some have even been able to put their ballet training to good use, such as Natalie Portman in her Oscar-winning role in Black Swan.