Beyonce Knowles held back tears when US TV presenter Ellen Degeneres served up a pre-birthday surprise on her TV show - the dance teacher who gave the BOOTYLICIOUS star her first encouragement. DeGeneres invited DARLETTE JOHNSON to join her and Knowles in Central Park, New York when she taped a special birthday show with the pop superstar last month (AUG06). The show aired in the US yesterday (05SEP06) - a day after Beyonce turned 25. The DEJA VU singer cooed about 'Miss Darlette', telling host DeGeneres she was the first person to spot her talents and put her on the stage before the proud, sobbing dance teacher showed up onstage. Johnson explained, "She was at the studio and she was the last one and her parents always came to get her, to pick her up, and I was just kinda sweeping around... and I was singing a song out of tune and Beyonce finished the song for me and she hit a note and I said, 'Sing it again.' "She was a very shy girl. She was maybe about six or seven and her parents came to pick her up, I said, 'She can sing! She really can sing.' They let me put her in some singing competitions and dance competitions and it's been history since." A thrilled Beyonce said, "I can't believe she's here."