Michelle Williams has been serenading us with her powerful, heartfelt vocals since she catapulted into mainstream fame with Destiny’s Child in the early 2000s. The Illinois native served as the gospel bridge to some of the group’s most powerful records, before branching off into her own musical lane with spirituality focused projects including, “Heart To Yours,” and “Journey To Freedom.” The 38-year-old’s unique vocal ability harmonized perfectly with Beyonce & Kelly Rowland’s tone and allowed her to deliver some of the most memorable hooks, bridges and verses of the group’s catalogue.
THROUGH WITH LOVE
‘Through With Love’ was a gut-wrenching track on Destiny’s Child’s 2004 album, ‘Destiny Fulfilled,’ that speaks to the emotional consequences of an unequally weighted relationship. In an act of surrender mixed with pain, the chorus repeats “I’m through with love. I’ve finally given it up.” Michelle’s verse delivers an unexpected twist in the narrative, with the attention shifting from draining earthly love, to a fulfilling heavenly love. “I found a new love. I finally found it in God,” Michelle croons as a chorus of saints explode into song behind her vocals. Powerful.
‘Survivor’ was Destiny’s Child’s bold 2001 anthem declaring their triumph over breakup rumors, drama and controversy. Michelle’s third verse, albeit brief, was a soulful reminder that there’s always light after dark, and positivity wins over negativity every time. This moment also established the group as a firm trio, after the team struggled to remain a quartet during the untimely departure of original group members Latavia Roberson and LeToya Luckett.
CATER TO YOU
This sultry record sang every independent woman into submission mode, as she fantasized about running bath water and cooking a damn good meal for her man. While Bey & Kelly’s verses laid out the specific catering plans (DuRag wrapping and ‘keepin it tight,’) Michelle rounded out the record with smooth and smoky vocals explaining serving comes easy because ‘you’re beautiful,’ and ‘she loves the way you are.’
Destiny’s Child’s 2001 remake of the Bee Gee’s ‘Emotions,’ merged old school heartbreak with modern R&B. While Beyonce anchors the majority of the song with her powerful signature ad-libs, Michelle’s “now that I need you” bridge perfectly completes the wistful mood of the track.
“If” captures the nonchalant powerful tone of a woman who is truly at her wits end, yet ready to let go with a self-assured exhale. Michelle’s voice sets the mood of the track, making it clear that there are no hard feelings, just endings. “If I don’t pick up the phone like I used to…don’t you take it personal.” Have you ever heard savagery delivered so sweetly?