Tenitra Michelle Williams (born July 23, 1980 in Rockford, Illinois) is one-third of the R&B supergroup Destiny’s Child. She is also a gospel singer, songwriter and Broadway actress. She has won three Grammy Awards with Destiny’s Child. Raised in a Christian family, Williams learned to sing in her church’s choir. She later sang in a musical quartet called United Harmony with sister Cameron. After attending Auburn High School and being a part of the C.A.P.A (Creative And Performing Arts) program there, she pursued a degree in criminal justice at Illinois State University while singing back-up for R&B star Monica. It was then that she gained the opportunity in becoming part of the what was soon to be global phenomenon of Destiny’s Child, which Michelle joined in 2000.
After the release and promotion of Destiny’s Child’s album Survivor, Williams became the first member to release a solo studio album. Her Gospel album, Heart To Yours , shot up to #1 on the Billboard Gospel Chart and became the biggest-selling Gospel album of 2002, making her the first member of Destiny’s Child to do so; she then broke into acting with her starring role in the Broadway hit, Aida, replacing R&B singer Toni Braxton.
Following the success of her debut, Michelle released her sophomore album, entitled Do You Know, in 2004, featuring the single of the same name and a Destiny’s Child Gospel track I Know. The album did not perform as well as her debut but did reach #2 on the Hot Christian Contemporary Album Chart and #3 on the Billboard Gospel Chart.
The lesser performance of Do You Know may have been due to the increasing criticism of Williams, by some devout Christian groups, who were against the fact that she was both a solo artist partaking in Gospel music and an R&B artist as part of the globally successful secular group Destiny’s Child. Williams’ second album also produced a different sound from the debut, with more R&B tinged beats and stronger vocals from Michelle.
Michelle released her third and first commercial pop album, "Unexpected" on October 7th, 2008 in the US and September 30th in the UK. The album features the Hot Dance hit singles "We Break The Dawn," "The Greatest" and "Hello Heartbreak."
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