With her second solo album, ''B'Day,'' due in stores Sept. 5, the R&B star tells EW's Margeaux Watson about seven key things that have influenced her career
Beyonce Knowles

Diana Ross
”She’s an all-around entertainer: a great actor, a good singer, and a beautiful, elegant woman. She’s one of the few singers able to cross over into really good movies.”

Rachelle Ferrell
”A jazz singer I grew up listening to. My voice teacher listened to her; that’s what I’d sing during my voice lessons. She uses her voice like an instrument.”

St. John’s United Methodist Church, Houston
”You can be sitting next to a recovering alcoholic or a homeless person, but we’re all the same…we’re there to get the same thing.”

The Color Purple
”The type of movie you wish you could have been a part of. It made me cry, it made me laugh, it reminded me of my family, and it made me want to act.”

Anita Baker
”My mother played her and Luther Vandross all day at her hair salon. I always performed her music when I made my mom’s friends watch me sing.”

The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
”There’s definitely something beyond Lauryn Hill that’s in her voice and her mind when she writes songs. She’s gifted and blessed.”

Oprah Winfrey
”The definition of inspiration and a strong woman. When I’m around her, I want to stand up straight, pronounce my words right, and articulate.”