Beyonce Knowles was so impressed by the girls auditioning to be in her backing band that she has decided to expand her group.
The singer announced last month that she would be holding auditions to find drummers, keyboard players, bassists, guitarists, horn players and percussionists for a nine-strong all-girl group, but the standard was so high she decided to pick 12 "fierce" females for her troupe.
She said in an interview with MTV: "I wanted to get together a group of fierce, talented, hungry, beautiful women and form an all-girl band. I'm all about female empowerment. I'm all about pushing the envelope. I know it's my responsibility to do something different. I said, 'I want a band, I want something different.' I had worldwide auditions. People flew in from Atlanta, Houston, Israel - all over the world."
The finalists from the regional auditions held in five cities were brought to New York to perform in front of the former Destiny's Child star and a panel of judges including her father, Matthew Knowles.
She added: "It was extremely difficult choosing the winners. There are so many talented women. I wanted only a nine-piece band to start with, but the girls were so amazing, I couldn't decide. I think I'm going to wind up having 12 people because some of the contenders were just brilliant. I was looking for a thing called star quality."
The stunning singer described the whole experience as "magical" and also confessed she has chosen a name for the band but refused to reveal it.
The winning girls will support Beyonce on her upcoming tour.