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Michelle Williams was born on July 23, 1980 in Rockford, Illinois. Michelle's passion for singing started at a young age. Williams first began singing in her church's choir. Her first solo was a gospel song, "Blessed Assurance". She later sang in a musical group called United Harmony with her sister Cameron. After attending Rockford Auburn High School and being a part of the school's Creative and Performing Arts magnet program, she pursued a degree in criminal justice at Illinois State University.
Beginning with Destiny's Child
She attended the Illinois State University after high school. In 1999, the striving singer got a ring from an old friend who played keyboard for R&B singer Monica and told her that they were auditioning for a backup singer. Williams instantly flew to Atlanta and later got the job. In late 1999, Williams met Destiny's Child band members Beyoncé Knowles and Kelly Rowland in the lobby of an Atlanta hotel. Months later Beyoncé asked an acquaintance if he knew anyone who could sing for a possible spot with the group DC, and the person referred her to Michelle.
In February 2000, after much-publicized turmoil, Williams - alongside Farrah Franklin - officially joined the group, replacing LeToya Luckett and LaTavia Roberson without notice. A few months later Franklin left and the group continued as a trio.
The trio recorded "Independent Women Part I", which appeared on the soundtrack to the 2000 film Charlie's Angels. It became their best-charting single to date as it topped the official U.S. singles chart for eleven consecutive weeks and also topped the UK Single Chart; the success cemented the new lineup and skyrocketed them to fame.
Following the success of "Independent Women", Williams and Destiny's Child released the group’s third studio album Survivor. The album was released in May 2001, debuting at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 with 663,000 units sold. Survivor has now sold over ten million copies worldwide - 4.1 of which were sold in the US alone.
The album's other number-one hits are "Bootylicious" and the title track "Survivor", the latter of which earned the group a Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.
After releasing their holiday album, 8 Days of Christmas, the group announced their temporary break-up to pursue solo projects.
While Williams was still with Destiny's Child, she intensified work on her debut solo album Heart to Yours.
The album material consisted of collaborations with singers Carl Thomas, Shirley Caesar and the Mary Mary duo, taking the singer's work further into urban contemporary gospel and Christian music. Released on April 16, 2002 in North America, Williams became the first member of Destiny’s Child to release solo material with Heart to Yours.
The album sold 17,000 copies in its first week, placing it at #57 on the Billboard 200, #3 on the Top Contemporary Christian tally and on top of the Top Gospel Albums chart. It became the year's best-selling gospel album and has now sold more than 200,000 units stateside, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Following the release and promotion of Heart to Yours, Williams made her on-stage acting debut in 2003, replacing fellow R&B singer Toni Braxton in the title role of Aida, the hit Broadway musical with music by Elton John and lyrics by Tim Rice. She was the first and remains the only Destiny’s Child member to have acted on Broadway.
After the three-year journey that involved concentration on individual solo projects, Williams rejoined Knowles and Rowland for the band's fourth studio album Destiny Fulfilled, released in November 2004. The album hit number two on the Billboard 200, and spawned the singles "Lose My Breath", "Soldier", "Girl" and "Cater 2 U". In support of the album, Destiny's Child embarked on a 2005 Destiny Fulfilled ... And Lovin' It world tour, which started in April to September of the same year. On the Barcelona, Spain visit, the group announced their disbandment after their final North American leg would end. In October 2005, the group released a compilation album, entitled #1's, including all of Destiny's Child's number-one hits and most of their well-known songs.
Do You Know
During the release of her fellow Destiny's Child members' debut albums Williams spent time in the studio, recording the new tracks for her second album. The album saw her generally re-teaming with the majority of the producers and songwriters from her previous effort, also including Solange Knowles, Dawkins & Dawkins, and brother Erron Williams. However, released on January 26, 2004 in the United States, Do You Know reached a disappointing #120 on the Billboard 200 chart, barely selling 10,000 copies in its first week; once again, Williams scored more success on the component charts, where the album peaked at #2 on the Top Gospel Albums chart and #3 on the Top Christian Albums tally.
Following Destiny's Child's disbandment in early 2006 Williams made her television debut in the UPN comedy Half & Half, where she played the role of Naomi, a record company executive who is HIV positive. Later that year, she appeared as one of the celebrity singers on the FOX reality television show Celebrity Duets, duetting with actors Alfonso Ribeiro and Jai Rodriguez. Beginning in April 2007, Williams joined Oprah Winfrey's Chicago-based cast of the hit Broadway musical The Color Purple for its national tour, starting with an extended run at the Cadillac Palace Theatre. Williams played the part of blues singer Shug Avery, which earned her positive reactions.
On October 27th, Unexpected was released via Columbia Records and Music World Entertainment in North America (as it was released in the UK and Poland in September and in the rest of Europe in December). It is Williams' first full length solo dance-pop/r&b album, moving away from the gospel style of her previous efforts. The album involves production by Stargate, Rico Love, the Heavyweights, Wayne Wilkins, Andrew Frampton and Soulshock & Karlin.
In October 2008, Williams' third album entered the Billboard chart at #42 and #11 on the component chart of Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums, with sales of 14,000.A re-released edition of the album is confirmed for a 2009 release most likely the fall after Michelle has finsihed the west end production of Chicago in which she stars as Roxie Hart.
The album's first single (which was co-written by Solange Knowles) "We Break the Dawn" was released in April 2008 and peaked at #1 on the US Hot Dance Airplay chart, #4 on the US Dance Club Play chart, #47 on the UK Singles Chart and #26 on the Global Dance Tracks chart. Its second single "The Greatest" peaked at #1 on the US Hot Dance Club Play chart and #25 on the Global Dance Tracks chart and was followed by the third single "Hello Heartbreak".
Roxie Hart and new album
In 2009 Michelle Williams landed the coveted role of murderous chorus girl Roxie Hart in the enormously popular West End production of "Chicago The Musical" in London. Michelle appeared at the Cambridge Theatre (Earlham Street, Seven Dials, London WC2) during a limited six-week engagement running from July 13th through to August 23rd.
Chicago is the seventh longest-running show in Broadway history and longest-running Broadway musical revival ever. The West End production which opened in November 1997 and won the 1998 Olivier Award for Outstanding Musical is the longest running Broadway musical ever to play in London.
Michelle stated on her Twitter that she is to begin work on her new album which she said will have a bit of a similar sound to Unexpected altough it might contain more and dance as she has recorded a new dance track with Ultra Naté, which she says she very excited about.
I'm so glad I found my sloiuton online.
Tours & Concerts
No upcoming tours and concerts for this artist.
- Michelle Williams was the special guest in the American Red Cross 18th annual 2007 Mardi Gras, Friday, February 23, 2007. The event was for the homeless shelter, disaster services, health and safety services.
January 27, 2004
October 7, 2008
Music World Entertainment/Columbia
|Year||Album||Chart positions||Sales and certifications|
|2002||Heart to Yours
|2004||Do You Know
|U.S.||U.S. D/CP||U.S. D/AP||UK|
|2002||"Heard a Word"||—||—||—||—||Heart to Yours|
|2004||"Do You Know"||—||—||—||—||Do You Know|
|2005||"Let's Stay Together"||—||—||—||—||Roll Bounce soundtrack|
|2008||"We Break the Dawn"||—||4||1||47||Unexpected|
Compilations & Live Releases
|2006||Heart to Yours/Do You Know
Michelle Williams' soft warm spirited voice wakes up your spirit. From the R&B style her voice transits to the traditional gospel music. Her songs are powerful. It has a mix of instrumental environment that compliments her soothing voice. --Mimi 08:15, 27 February 2007 (PST)