Michelle Williams is still a “Survivor” after all this time. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, the Destiny’s Child singer talked about their first album as a trio, “Survivor,” which was released 20 years ago.
“‘Survivor’ is a record with a special place in my heart,” Williams said. “We were young and ambitious… Our destiny was to be the biggest girl group ever, so ‘Survivor’ is testament to that.”
The album landed at number two on the Billboard 200 chart behind Britney Spears’s debut album “Baby One More Time.” The first single, “Independent Women Part I,” reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
“It’s crazy that it’s been 20 years because it still feels like yesterday to me,” Williams said. “I’m so grateful for our fans and supporters who love the music as much today as they did back then.”
“20 years later it’s going to be playing in a club or something and you’ll hear a girl go, ‘Oh my god, this song!’ and she’s singing it word for word,” Williams said. “It still feels so good.”
The album was a huge success, topping the charts in countries all over the world and selling over 8 million copies. It spawned hit singles like “Bootylicious,” “Independent Woman Pt. 1,” and “Survivor.” Beyonce Knowles, Kelly Rowland, and Williams also released a song as a trio called “Emotion” as the final single from the album.
“For ‘Survivor,’ we were going through something at that time – stuff with management – so it was just a lot of things on our minds that we were able to put into our music,” Williams said.
The album was released at a time when Destiny’s Child was experiencing some turmoil, with members leaving and being replaced. But the group managed to come back stronger than ever with “Survivor.”
After releasing hits like “Say My Name,” “Independent Women Pt. 1,” and then “Survivor,” the group eventually went on a hiatus in 2005 before reuniting for their final album, 2008’s “Destiny Fulfilled.”
“We just wanted to make an album that was undeniable. We just wanted to make sure the lyrics were on point. We knew that if it was undeniable, nothing could stop us,” Williams said. “I’m so glad we followed our instincts on some of the songs because I don’t think they would have been heard the way they’re being heard now had we made them with somebody else’s input.”
As for their biggest hit to date, “Survivor,” Williams said that she was initially skeptical of it.
“I was like, ‘Are you sure? My voice is so high!’ But I’m glad I trusted the people around me because they were right,” she said.
The album also featured songs by Beyonce and Rowland, including “Dance With Me,” “Nasty Girl,” and “She Can’t Love You.”
“Everything about that album was just everything. I think that they were genius songs; we were finding ourselves as singers and songwriters and as people. We really wanted to make sure it was a reflection of who we were at the time,” Williams said.
“Never say never! We’ve been blessed to do something that most people only dream of, so you just never know,” Williams said.