Nearly two decades later, former Destiny’s Child member Michelle Williams has revealed that she battled depression at the height of the girl group’s fame.
“I didn’t know until I was in my 30s what was going on,” the singer, 37, said while guest cohosting The Talk on Wednesday, October 18. “I just thought it was growing pains. I just thought, ‘I’m turning into a woman.’ I’ve been suffering since the ages of between 13 and 15. At that age, I didn’t know what to call it.”
Beyoncé‘s father, Mathew Knowles, who was the group’s manager, initially didn’t understand Williams’ feelings either. “I’m in one of the top-selling female groups of all time, suffering with depression,” she recalled. “When I disclosed it to our manager at the time, bless his heart, he was like, ‘Y’all just signed a multi-million dollar deal and you’re about to go on tour. What do you have to be depressed about?’ So I was like, ‘Oh, maybe I’m just tired.'”
At one point, the Grammy nominee’s depression was so bad that she became suicidal. “I was to that place where it got so dark and heavy because sometimes you feel like, ‘I’m the provider, I take care of people. I’m not supposed to be feeling this way. What do I do?’ And I wanted out,” she recounted.
These days, Williams is feeling better. “It’s off. It’s released. I’ve released it,” she said before applauding fellow singer Demi Lovato for being open about her own mental health. “Depression doesn’t mean lazy. Self-harm doesn’t mean you want attention. It’s not any of that.”
Williams, Beyoncé and Kelly Rowland reunited during Queen Bey’s performance at the Super Bowl halftime show in February 2013 and later collaborated on Williams’ 2014 single “Say Yes.”
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