AKA Tenetria Michelle Williams
Birthplace: Rockford, IL
Race or Ethnicity: Black
Sexual orientation: Straight
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: One-third of Destiny's Child
Michelle Williams first began to explore her love of music as a child, singing in the choir of her church. Aspirations to a professional singing career stayed with her ever since, but were put on hold while she spent her college years studying the less glamorous vocations of criminal law and accounting. Her first solid opportunity to pursue her dream arrived in 1999 when a friend working in the band for R&B singer Monica tipped her off to a position opening up for backing singer; Michelle immediately flew to Atlanta for auditions and her life in the music industry was underway.
It was in January of 2000 that the break that would fully establish her career in music took place. Following the sudden defection of half of its line-up, the two remaining members of Destiny's Child were in need of quickly securing replacement singers; a common friend put the word in for Michelle, and an audition for Beyonce Knowles and Kelly Rowland was staged in Houston. By the following month Ms. Williams was a member of one of the most popular singing groups in the world. Her good fortune was not without its price, however, as the band was forced to handle difficulties with the other replacement singer and a lawsuit from the two former members while maintaining a rigorous schedule of recording, touring and video shoots. Despite the difficulties, the first Destiny's Child album featuring Michelle Williams, Survivor, was released in 2001 and became the groups most successful offering to date.
In 2002, with Destiny's Child on temporary hiatus, Williams released her first solo project Heart to Yours -- an album that drew heavily on her roots in church music and found its way to the top of the gospel charts. In 2003, she further established her individual identity as a performer when she replaced singer Toni Braxton as the lead in the Broadway musical Aida. A second solo release, Do You Know, materialized the same year.
Father: Dennis Williams (businessman)
Mother: Anita Williams (missionary)
Brother: Erron Williams (producer)
Destiny's Child Vocalist 2000-present
Risk Factors: Smoking
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