"Everything I do is honest, it's real," she said. "I am very much in control of everything I do, and I feel like everything I do is a part of my legacy. So I try to make sure that it's something that I'll be proud of 20 years from now."
And yet, Knowles says the hardest part of being Beyonce is just that -- living up to the legacy, to all those enormous expectations.
"Every single time I do something I'm trying to top myself," Knowles said. "But I feel like I was born for this, and actually I know I was born for this."
One senses Knowles is still looking to make an even larger mark, a mission often lost in the media frenzy that often surrounds the star.
On the topic of her much-rumored romance with hip-hop mogul Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter, she politely demurs.
"It's so crazy that in the same tabloid we're broken up and we're married. At the same time. But that's a part of the tabloid so, it's part of my job," Knowles said.
"Thank God it's not anything that's too harmful, you know? It's not anything that's too serious that I lose sleep over."
Despite the exhausting schedule, the relentless attention, and the pressures of history on her shoulders, Knowles exudes a surprising calm.
"I feel like I'm balanced -- I have a life," she said, pausing to reconsider. "Well, I'm working on that."
She reconsiders once more.
"But I don't feel like being a celebrity defines me," she said. "And I feel like right now, if I wanted to stop, I could be completely happy."