Michelle Williams (Singer)
Prior to skyrocketing to superstardom with Destiny’s Child in the early ’00s, Williams grew up singing in church in her home state of Illinois.
Upon graduating from high school in 1997 — just three years before joining the hit girl group — the “Lose My Breath” singer attended Illinois State University, where she was studying criminal justice. In deciding to pursue music professionally, the pop star left college and went on tour with Monica as a backup singer.
After the release of Destiny’s Child’s 1999 hit album, The Writing’s on the Wall, Williams and Farrah Franklin came in to replace former members LaTavia Roberson and LaToya Luckett, who left the group that same year. Five months after joining DC in 2000, Franklin quit, leaving Destiny’s Child with three members: Williams, Beyoncé and Kelly Rowland.
The trio found massive success throughout the decade, scoring seven Grammy nominations and one win. The group’s third album, Survivor, scored the singers hit after hit, including tracks like “Independent Women,” “Bootylicious” and more. Williams released her debut solo album, My Heart to Yours, in 2002 while the group was on hiatus. After coming back together as a trio, Destiny’s Child released two more albums — and several more hits — in the 2000s. Though they disbanded in 2006, Williams has reunited with Beyoncé and Rowland for several Destiny’s Child performances over the years, including at the 2013 Super Bowl Halftime Show and the “Formation” singer’s critically-acclaimed set at Coachella 2018.
Williams has also made a name for herself as a Broadway actress, with turns in Aida, Once on This Island and Chicago, where she played co-lead Roxie Hart. The “Survivor” singer has also released multiple gospel albums and appeared on reality TV, competing on The Masked Singer in the U.S., the U.K. and Australia.
As for her love life, the “Girl” artist got engaged to pastor Chad Johnson in 2018 after one year of dating, though she called it quits later that year.