Michelle Williams (photo: Dimitrios Kambouris, WireImage)
"It was a little awkward because you're coming into a situation where the group was already established," Williams told Yahoo! Music during its Best Soul Girl Groups special for Black Music Month. "You're coming into a situation where the group itself had fans but then the girls themselves had fans … So for me coming out it was like, 'Are people going to like me? Are they going to understand that I did not have anything to do with this?' I jumped onto a moving train."
Things were moving so quickly that Williams found herself taping Destiny's Child's "Say My Name" video right after accepting the offer. "Once it was understood I would be in Destiny's Child, we immediately started dance rehearsals and vocal rehearsals. It was like today we agreed and tomorrow I'm here in L.A. shooting the video."
Williams was in the group at its peak, contributing vocals to Survivor, 8 Days Of Christmas and Destiny Fulfilled. Along with Knowles and Rowland, Williams released solo albums while still in the group.
Williams didn't really understand Destiny's Child's success until after they disbanded. "I didn't have time to realize what was going on or the magnitude or the impact of Destiny's Child, maybe until everything was said and done. We worked so hard, 20 hours a day."
Williams is in regular communication with Knowles and Rowland. "We go to each others' shows. The girls come to my shows," she said.
She also spends time with Knowles' daughter Blue Ivy. "It comes naturally for me," she said. "I have five nieces and nephews of my own and three God children. It shouldn't be a big deal. It's not breaking news that I do auntie duties."
Williams, who has starred in Broadways plays Aida, Chicago and The Color Purple will release a new gospel album in 2012 on The Light Record.
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- Kelly Rowland