Heart to Yours
"In ten years, I would like to live on a river and to be known to be in one of the most successful singing groups." Michelle Williams
Gospel music vocalist Michelle Williams initially achieved her celebrity status with two other members, Kelly Rowland and Beyonce Knowles, in Destiny's Child. With the group, Michelle began attracting the public's attention when she recorded the soundtrack for Charlie's Angels (2000),"Independent Women Part I," which peaked at Billboard's number one spot and stayed there for eleven weeks. In 2001, after the girls launched the third album Survivor (the first since Michelle joined), Michelle also gained worldwide exposure when it sold over 6 million copies internationally within two weeks of its release.
In 2002, Michelle, whose favorite song is "Hard to Say I'm Sorry" and "Hard Habit to Break," continued to draw public attention when she tried her hand at a solo carrier with the Gospel album Heart to Yours. The album premiered at number 2 on Billboard's Gospel charts, peaked at number 18 on the R&B charts and reached number 57 on the Billboard Top 200 charts. Additionally, it became the number 1 album on the Gospel Charts as well as the best-selling Gospel album of 2002. In the year 2004, Michelle released her second Gospel album, Do You Know, in which she nobly showed her devotion to God.
On stage, Michelle Williams showed off her acting talent when she landed the starring role of the love-crossed Nubian princess in Elton John and Tim Rice's hit Broadway musical Aida in 2003.
Mi Chelle My Belle
Childhood and Family:
"I grew up in Rockford, Illinois. St. Paul Church Of God In Christ was and still is my home church. I sang my first solo at the age of seven. I directed the choir and I was an usher. I was a straight-up church girl. I did a lot of stuff in the community such as singing in various choirs and at my school." Michelle Williams
In Rockford, Illinois, Tenetria Michelle Williams was born on July 23, 1980. Her father is Dennis Williams, a businessman, and her mother is Anita Williams, a missionary. Together with her brother Erron Williams (producer) and sister Cameron, Michelle grew up in a Christian-based family.
Michelle Williams, whose nickname is Mi Chelle My Belle, displayed her love for music at an early age. Learning how to sing in the choir of her church, seven-year-old Michelle delivered her first solo when she sang a version of "Blessed Assurance," at her native St. Paul Church of God In Christ. Motivated by Marvin Winans, Clark Sisters, Commissioned, Yolanda Adams, Kirk Franklin and Hezekiah Walker, she continued to sing gospel music in two various church-based singing groups: United Harmony and Chosen Expression.
Having the intentions of furthering her studies, Michelle attended Illinois State University to study criminal justice and accounting. In her second year, Michelle's first chance to pursue a career in music came when she joined an audition for a backup vocalist for R&B singer Monica. Shortly after the audition, Michelle worked as a backup dancer for Monica before moving back to her local Rockford in 1999. A year later, Michelle's rising interest in music blossomed as the founding members of Destiny's Child, Beyonce Knowles and Kelly Rowland, gave her the opportunity to join the group. Michelle made a perfect decision when she officially joined Destiny's Child in February 2000.
Do You Know
Singing as a young girl in a church choir, Michelle Williams demonstrated her knack for music when she sang her first solo, an interpretation of "Blessed Assurance," at her local St. Paul Church of God In Christ at age seven. Once working as a backup dancer for R&B superstar Monica, Michelle made a big move when she decided to accept the offer of Beyonce and Kelly Rowland to be part of Destiny's Child in 2000.
With the group, Michelle recorded new music and toured with Christina Aguilera. In 2001, the girls launched their third album (the first since Michelle joined) Survivor. Two of their new songs, "Dot" and "Independent Women Part I," became part of the soundtrack for the blockbuster Charlie's Angels (2000), the latter of which reached the Billboard number 1 hit and stayed there for 11 weeks. With the mega-hit "Bootylicious," the album broke the record for the highest first week's sales figures of any female group with 663,000 copies sold. Additionally, it sold over 6 million copies internationally within two weeks of its release. For Michelle, it was the first experience collecting worldwide fans.
After the launch of Destiny's Child's autobiography Soul Survivors in 2002, the trio tried their hand at solo projects. It was another opportunity for Michelle to make a name for herself when she came back to her church roots and was signed to Music World Gospel alongside label mate Ramiyah.
In 2002, Michelle eventually released her first solo album, Heart to Yours, which became the number 1 album on the Gospel Charts as well as the best-selling Gospel album of 2002. During its release, the album premiered at number 2 on Billboard's Gospel charts, peaked at number 18 on the R&B charts and reached number 57 on the Billboard Top 200 charts.
Not only providing her voice, Michelle also co-wrote several songs on her album including the title track, "Heart To Yours," and the album's first single, "Heard A Word," which holds a special meaning to her. Commenting about it she said, "They were songs that healed me while I was recording it, so I'm hoping that -- as the CD healed me and as it is still healing me -- it touches and blesses others. At first, I was trying to be so careful to satisfy the fan base. Should I say 'God?' Should I say 'He' or 'Him?' Should I say 'Jesus?' I was worried about it reaching the young people. But they need to hear about God and what he's done for me. As the album went on, I couldn't help but mention His name."
"You know, I only had four weeks to learn everything. I had so much to digest. If they weren't teaching me one thing, they were teaching me something else. It's been truly awesome. I never dreamed of this, coming this far with a Broadway show under my belt, especially a major one. 'Aida' is a major show." Michelle Williams
During the busy time promoting her album, Michelle branched out into acting when she replaced singer Tony Braxton to star as the love-crossed Nubian princess in Elton John and Tim Rice's Broadway hit musical Aida in 2003.
"For this album--after going through so much in 2003--it was a perfect time to do another record, because I was able to write about how I was feeling." Michelle Williams
In 2004, Michelle continued cementing her position as a star when she returned to the recording studio and launched her second solo, a contemporary urban-gospel album titled Do You Know. In the album, she bravely shows her devotion to God with the intention of teaching young people that it is cool to be religiously dutiful and open-minded. Like her first album, Michelle also wrote and co-wrote five of the songs.
After the success of her solo albums, Michelle Williams carried on her triumph when she rejoined Kelly Rowland and Beyonce Knowles for Destiny's Child's fifth recording album Destiny Fulfilled, which was released on November 2004. With the first single of the album, "Lose My Breath," DC hit number 1 on Billboard's singles charts. Aside from the single, the album also shot to number one on the same charts.
In 2005, Destiny's Child will be touring Europe and America with the McDonald's sponsored Destiny Fulfilled and Lovin' It.