Michelle Williams comes to Houston for the holidays
Next year marks two decades since the release of “No, No, No,” the first single from Houston-born girl group Destiny’s Child. But, perhaps more important, it’s been more than a decade since the group went on hiatus.
A couple of recent online blips grew hopes that the trio would reunite for 2017.
Members Michelle Williams, Beyoncé and Kelly Rowland recently participated in the Mannequin Challenge, a viral video craze that requires participants to remain frozen for several seconds. And an official DC3 Instagram account popped up in October.
Williams answers the reunion question before it’s even asked during a recent interview.
“We don’t talk about it,” she says. “When we get together, we’re so happy to see each other that doesn’t come to mind.
“I think we were all shocked at the Instagram page. None of us knew about it. Everybody’s like, ‘Oh, my God, they’re doing something, it’s verified.’ It is a blessing that people still say, ‘Are y’all gonna get together?’ Heck, when I see Justin Timberlake, I’m gonna ask him, ‘When is NSync getting back together?’
“I don’t have the answers, other than we love each other and that’s it. I’m probably gonna find out when y’all find out.”
Williams joined Destiny’s Child in 2000 and became part of the group’s final lineup, contributing to the “Survivor” and “Destiny Fulfilled” albums. She was the first member to release a solo album, 2002′s “Heart to Yours,” and has found success in the gospel and dance genres.
That solo shine extends to the holidays as Williams will headline the 97th annual Mayor’s Holiday Celebration and Tree Lighting Friday at City Hall. Before the caroling begins, she talked Christmas memories, 2017 goals and why you’ll never see her fighting for sweaters at a mall.
Q: You lived in Houston during the DC3 days. What comes to mind when you think of the city?
A: The very, very first time I came to Houston. And the reason why I came to Houston was to finally meet my sisters Beyoncé and Kelly Rowland. Pappadeaux comes to mind. The food. My old apartment that I used to have.
Q: Are you big on Christmas?
A: It’s a time when you’re able to be home with your family. I’ve traveled close to 200,000 miles this year, just on one airline. I live in the Chicago area, so it’s cold up here. I do not look forward to that. It’s disrespectful. I do not like cold weather at all. I loved the humidity, the heat (in Houston).
Q: What’s one of the best gifts you ever received?
A: My parents got us our own TV. You really were big-time if you tell your classmates you got a TV.
Q: Something you got that wasn’t particularly high on your list?
A: I had an uncle who was a retired math teacher. He would give us stuff like socks and pajamas and calculators for Christmas. I mean, I will take it. I need socks, I guess. My mother is guilty, too. She’s gotten me pajamas for Christmas. Tell people to find me the ugliest pair of pajamas ever, and I have to wear them, and I have to post it to my Instagram page as a challenge. We’ll start a pajama challenge.
Q: Favorite holiday food?
A: I think of all the sweets, the cakes, the brownies, the cookies. My grandmother did these amazing cream cheese brownies. And she would only do it around Christmas, so we had to wait for those.
Q: Are you a big Christmas shopper?
A: My shopping process is on Christmas Eve. I go out and get gift cards, unless there is something specific that my mom or dad wants. I just think about the pressure that it puts on people to be out and about, to get stuff that they can’t afford. I don’t like the hustle and bustle of being in big malls and trying to get things. I’m not out in the street trying to compete with somebody for this ugly sweater. I’m not doing it.
Q: What’s on your list this year?
A: Oooh. Maybe some, I don’t know, nice luggage? I’m not in need of anything. I don’t want anything. I’m single, so everything I want, I have to get it myself. Maybe you could put a nice, handsome man under the tree that says, “I’m going to get you everything you want.” I know we sang “Independent Women,” but I’m tired of being independent. I am tired.
Q: You recently launched a bedding line called Believe. What was the motivation?
A: My grandmother was a huge inspiration to so many of us in our family. She was a seamstress, and everything in her house - bedding, curtains and draperies - she made those by hand. She made every child in the family quilts. Now mind you, my mother has eight brothers and sisters. It had our name, date of birth, how much we weighed. It had a patchwork baby on it. She even had it down to the complexion of our skin. I don’t sew, but I still somehow wanted to keep the legacy of what my grandmother started. And my mother is amazing in interior design. When I grew up, my mother had pride in her living room and how our bedrooms looked.
Q: Have you been working on new music?
A: I’m interested in doing a holiday album for next year. I’ve always wanted to do a classic Christmas album. Of course, coming from the type of music I do, you have to have some fun, upbeat music on there, too. Some new, original material. Maybe I can incorporate pajamas and calculators in a song?
Q: “8 Days of Christmas” from Destiny’s Child was a good example of blending traditional and modern elements.
A: We were busy touring, and sometimes after a show late at night, we’d go in the studio and do a song. One of my favorites on the album, “Opera of the Bells,” that was recorded at Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis’ studio in Minneapolis.
Q: What are your goals for the new year?
A: I’m hoping to accomplish the expansion of my bedding line. I want to go into retail. I want to have my own furniture. I hope to continue to do more theater. Broadway is calling my name again. I have to get on that stage. I’m in the beginning stages of a book. I’m really, really excited about what we’re already planning for next year.