Michelle Williams’ Destiny
By Martin Williams, contributing writer, gmclife.com
As a unique talent with a humble heart, Michelle Williams, one third of the multi-platinum-selling Destiny’s Child, has become a respected singer and songwriter in her own right. Expanding into different genres, breaking world records and taking Broadway by storm are just a few the accolades that have made her a household name.
Williams explains that her journey in music began even before receiving the call to become part of the group that would earn the title of world’s best-selling female group of all time. In the midst of pursuing a criminal justice degree at the University of Illinois, she stepped out on faith and began her career.
“The journey has been filled with many twists and turns,” says Williams, who landed her first professional job singing background vocals for R&B sensation Monica. “The majority of it has been awesome.”
It was in the church choir that Williams discovered her passion for music and her love for Christ, and where she developed her vocal style, so when given the opportunity to record her first solo project, a gospel album entitled Heart to Yours, fit the bill. The album proclaimed her dedication and gratefulness to God for the awesome things He had done in her life. When asked about her relationship with God, Williams explains, “A relationship with God is important with anything and any career you have. I just happened to make music my career and the Lord has been with me every step of the way.” Heart to Yours would go on to top the Billboard Gospel charts and received a GRAMMY award.
For some artists adjusting to life as a solo act can seem difficult, but Williams has taken it in stride.
“Life as a solo artist has been great. I get to do what I want to do and I really don't have to answer to anybody, except God of course! Life as a solo artist coming out of a group was lonely at first, but I've gotten used to it.”
Between the time Heart to Yours became the best-selling Gospel album of 2002, and her second album Do You Know released in 2007, some in the Gospel community were less than supportive. The idea that an artist could produce mainstream music and still show their love and appreciation for God seemed taboo. The GRAMMY Award-winning singer admits, “It's taken me awhile to deal with it without getting angry. But I realized that we all have to stand in judgment one day and I pray for those who judge others here on earth.”
Music proved to be just one of Williams’ talents as she delved into theater, first replacing Toni Braxton in Disney’s “Aida” and then touring nationally as “Shug Avery” in “The Color Purple” on its national tour. In 2006 she appeared on the UPN series “Half and Half.” When asked if she’d take on more roles, Williams says, “Absolutely.”
She continued to make history as she and her band mates Beyonce Knowles and Kelly Rowland received a star on the prestigious Hollywood Walk of Fame. Williams is also designated the only African-American actress to play “Roxie” in “Chicago.”
What’s next for Michelle Williams? For starters, a brand-new album. “
I will be releasing an album next year. I can't wait for you guys to hear it.”
When asked what keeps her going and grounded, this triple threat says, “Staying focused and surrounding myself with great people. If you want to be great, you have to hang around great people. Always be true to yourself. You'll have more success and you won't regret anything.”
About the Writer
Martin Williams is a business and entertainment marketing major at American InterContinental University in Atlanta. He's a contributing writer for GospelFlava.com, where he reports on industry events, albums, and discussions. Prior to becoming a blogger, Martin was an intern here at gmc in the music industry development & business affairs department. He is a member of CaJo University, where he has the opportunity to travel and sing with Canton Jones. With a passion and fire for gospel music, Martin strives to be an uplifting and informative journalist.
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