I have a lot of favorites among the musical acts of the world. Music and singing groups really are a major part of my MP3 collection, especially female musical groups. The Supremes, The Emotions, Sister Sledge, TLC and Destiny’s Child are huge favorites and I often listen to their music.
A few weeks ago I was listening to Michelle Williams’ new song If We Had Your Eyes and reminisced to the time when I first took notice of her and her former group Destiny’s Child. The group went through the typical name changes starting with Girl Tyme, Something Fresh, The Dolls, and Destiny all before settling upon Destiny’s Child in 1996, which was taken from a passage in the Book of Isaiah. I went to the dictionary to find out the meaning of that word: Destiny. As with most words destiny carries several meanings. The first meaning of a preordained future did not seem right to me, but the second definition conveyed the discovery of the inner purpose of life. It made sense for the group collectively and individually as they would look toward successful musical futures.
Right away I knew there was something special about Destiny’s Child. I just had a feeling that I was watching the beginning of something very special in musical entertainment. Of course, my feeling was accurate as lead singer Beyonce Knowles has become one of the top artist of our time. However, there still seemed to be something very different about this group, and its individual members. Maybe it was the struggle they endured for years trying to settle on the lineup of group members? No, The Supremes and many other groups made personnel changes in the same manner. After the eventual hiatus, and inevitable solo projects I came to a realization about what set this group apart from many others; their break was amicable and solo projects all successful. You might ask how I can be sure that the girls really do like each other. Well, in our day of widespread social media and nonstop entertainment reporting, if even a slight problem existed, we would all know it immediately.
Regarding those solo projects, we all know about Beyonce and now Kelly Rowland has found her path to solo success. Third member Michelle Williams has also successfully stayed afloat in the boat of musical entertainment, albeit in a different body of water. Williams is about to release her fourth solo studio album later this year titled Journey to Freedom on the Light Records label. Of interest is the fact that two of her three previous solo albums have been in the gospel genre. Usually performers start their careers singing and sometimes recording gospel music and later turn to secular music. Notice what Michelle Williams said about her choice, “Some people will do gospel when their career fails, but I chose to do it at the height of the popularity of Destiny’s Child, and I didn’t want to do it because it was a fad. I wanted to do it because it’s in me. It’s in my heart.”
Michelle Williams had much more in her heart and even more talent in her veins pumping throughout her body. She would take more steps outside the normal pop/R & B realm and move toward the Broadway stage. In 2003, Williams made her first Broadway appearance starring in Aida. Later in 2007 she played the role of Shug Avery in The Color Purple for its national tour. She would move on to London for the West End production of the musical Chicago, playing the role of Roxie Hart. Earlier this year she played Sandra Isadore in the national tour of the Tony nominated musical Fela!
It would seem the thirty-three year old Rockford, Illinois native will continue to sing, gospel and/or secular music, and you can look for her on Broadway and possibly in your city on a tour with a Broadway musical. Perhaps you will one day see and hear her perform alongside fellow band members Beyonce Knowles and Kelly Rowland. In a recent interview Michelle Williams said we may have seen the last of Destiny’s Child as a group, but of course the three ladies remain friends and support the solo efforts of one another. Michelle Williams is a wonderful singer, and a class act with a different destiny than her old band mates, but a destiny of musical success.