Michelle Williams was born July 23, 1980 in Rockford, Illinois and is a gospel and pop singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress. Williams rose to fame in the early 2000s as a member of R&B all-girl group, Destiny's Child. In addition to her active solo career, Williams has also found success as a television, Broadway, and West End theatre actress.
Williams made her musical debut at the age of 7, performing a rendition of the hymn “Blessed Assurance” at her local church. She went on to join the gospel groups United Harmony and Chosen Expression. Williams dropped out of Illinois State University after two years of study to purse her dream of singing. She began her career as a backing vocalist for the R&B artist Monica in 1999. That same year, Williams met Beyoncé and Kelly Rowland and officially joined Destiny's Child in 2000.
The group became a huge success over the next few years, amassing a number of hit singles, such as “Bootylicious” and “Survivor,” the latter earning the group a Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.
By 2003 the group had gone on an indefinite hiatus to pursue solo projects, with Williams working on her debut solo album, “Heart to Yours.” Williams followed up her album with her Broadway debut in 2003 in the show “Aida,” replacing fellow R&B singer Toni Braxton. Williams' second album, “Do You Know” was issued in 2004 but was not as successful as her first.
Destiny's Child reunited in 2004 for the album, “Destiny Fulfilled,” which peaked at #2 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart, and spawned the singles “Lose My Breath,” “Soldier,” “Girl” and “Cater 2 U.” Destiny's Child embarked on a world tour in 2005 and announced their disbandment after the North American leg of the tour ended.
2008 saw Williams sign with Columbia Records and release her third studio album, “Unexpected.” Despite being a critical success, the album debuted and peaked at and #42 on the Billboard 200 and at #11 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.
Williams signed to Light Records in 2012. In 2013 she began her role as Sandra in the national tour of the musical “Fela!”