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Michelle Williams Takes Rolling Stone Behind an Iconic Destiny’s Child Cover Shoot

‘Behind The Rolling Stone Cover’ is sponsored by Shure, affordable, durable, and exceptional-sounding microphones you can rely on. Available to watch and listen on Rolling Stone AU/NZ, and to stream on YouTube, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and all major podcast platforms.

In 2001, Destiny’s Child released their third album, Survivor, which featured worldwide hits including the title track, “Independent Women Part I”, and “Bootylicious”. It was also the year Beyoncé Knowles, Kelly Rowland, and Michelle Williams appeared on the May cover of Rolling Stone.

By the end of that year, they would announce a hiatus for the three stars to pursue solo work, but in May they were one of the biggest groups in the world. 

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Williams was just 20 years old when she first met with Knowles and Rowland in 1999, joining the band the next year as LaTavia Roberson and LeToya Luckett departed. Landing a Rolling Stone cover shortly after was a dream come true for Williams, who came from a music-obsessed family. Raised by a father who would fill the house with records, Williams felt like she had made it when she saw herself on the cover of Rolling Stone.

In the latest episode of ‘Behind The Rolling Stone Cover’, sponsored by Shure, Rolling Stone AU/NZ Editor-in-Chief Poppy Reid sat down with Williams to hear her feelings on that cover over 20 years later.

Image: Michelle Williams

She talks about her experience being interviewed for the issue, how fresh she was to the band and therefore how much looser she was than Knowles and Rowland, and how that came across in the story.

Williams tells Reid how she felt about coming into Destiny’s Child after fans had already grown attached to Roberson and Luckett, and how she overcame the imposter syndrome she felt trying to fill their shoes. 

That experience, as well as her history of depression, has helped drive her passion for mental health awareness. She speaks about her podcast Checking In With Michelle Williams and how she wants to expand her reach to help children and teens dealing with mental health struggles.

Image: Poppy Reid

Williams also takes Reid through the highs and lows of social media, and how she feels about being a member of one of the world’s biggest girl groups while still being able to walk down the street without being recognised. 

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