Think you’ve got Michelle Williams all figured out? Think again. For fans of her subtle and smooth work as one-third of the world-renowned Destiny’s Child, as well as her soul-stirring spiritual solo work, this is a brand-new Michelle Williams. Or is it?
Michelle is one of very few musical artists with proven success across multiple music genres. From gospel, rhythm & blues to pop and dance, Michelle maintains strong positioning across most genres while being highly respected amongst her peers and fans; she is constantly reinventing herself. The multi-talented recording artist-producer-songwriter-actress-entrepreneur delivers an important message: Expect the Unexpected. In her latest album, Michelle forges a fresh and innovative new sound destined to be emulated for years to come. The sparkling, groove-laden tracks present Michelle as she has never been seen before as a saucy club vixen unleashing the ultimate party soundtrack.
She is now lending her voice to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association to deliver another important message. This one is about stroke. Michelle says, “I am honored to partner with the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association on Power To End Stroke. My father had a stroke in 2005 because of smoking, diabetes and an unhealthy diet and my grandmother was diagnosed with having a stroke in 2006 when she went to her doctor for a simple outpatient procedure. I want to bring awareness to people so that strokes can be prevented. Let’s take care of ourselves…the first step is knowledge about your health.”
Born and raised in the quaint town of Rockford, Illinois, Michelle first found her voice singing in her church’s choir. While attending Illinois State University majoring in criminal justice, she took the leap of faith towards her passion…music. She landed her first professional job as a background vocalist for R&B singer, Monica. It was there that Beyonce’ and Kelly remembered her when they were looking for a new member.
Michelle rose to fame as a member of the group Destiny’s Child in 2000. With band mates and friends Beyoncé Knowles and Kelly Rowland, Michelle went on to become one of the best-known and beloved performers in the world. The group is documented as the best-selling recording artists of all time. Collectively, Michelle has eleven number one singles and has sold more than 21 million albums in the United States and over 50 million records worldwide. She has received more than 150 awards including three Grammy awards, Billboard Music Awards, MOJO and other awards and accolades. The 2005 disbandment of the group allowed Michelle to further pursue her solo career.
In 2002, Michelle released her first solo album – the Grammy Award winning “Heart to Yours” – which was featured in collaboration with the legendary Shirley Caesar, entered the Billboard Top Gospel Albums chart at #1, peaked at #3 on the Top Contemporary Christian Albums chart and became the year’s top-selling Gospel album. Her sophomore project “Do You Know” was released in 2004 and Michelle’s third solo project -pop album “Unexpected”- was released in 2008. “Unexpected” introduced a bold new dance/pop sound for Williams, showcased by the #1 Billboard Hot Dance tracks “We Break the Dawn” and “The Greatest.” Michelle is currently in the studio working on her new album, which is slated for release soon.
Michelle Williams’ creative skills have also captivated audiences on theatrical stages and in television. Michelle made her debut on Broadway in 2003 replacing R&B icon Toni Braxton in the title role of Disney’s Aida, the self titled musical by Sir Elton John and Time Rice. In 2007, she took on her greatest acting challenge when she joined the cast of the Broadway smash, The Color Purple for its national tour. She dazzled in the role of strong-willed Shug Avery, performing extended runs in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Phoenix with members of the original Broadway cast. Michelle made history by being the first woman of color to play the role of Roxie Hart on London West End in the production of Chicago in 2009. In January 2010, she returned to Broadway as Roxie Hart in Chicago.
In 2006, Michelle took to the television screen for a hotly touted, ground-breaking multi-episode run in the popular UPN sitcom, Half & Half, in which she played Naomi, a record company executive who is HIV-positive. Currently, Michelle can be found staring in David E. Talbert’s hit stage play “What My Husband Doesn’t Know,” along side co-stars Brian J. White and Morris Chestnut!
“Everyday, I awake and give thanks for the opportunities in my life,’ Michelle says. ‘I never take it for granted. In fact, I celebrate my amazingly good fortune every chance I get.