For as long as can be remembered, the other members of Destiny’s Child that are NOT named Beyonce have faced some bit of comparison to the group’s lead singer at some point. While every member has served their purpose and is extremely talented, they have all felt the separation from fans and within themselves at times.
Michelle Williams, who entered Destiny’s Child famously when “Say My Name” was chosen to be the single for their second album, The Writings On The Wall, has heard it all, both on and off social media. The “Say Yes” singer got a chance to appear with The Breakfast Club to promote her upcoming memoir “Checking In: How Getting Real about Depression Saved My Life—and Can Save Yours”, and she touched on the comparisons to the eldest Knowles sister.
“I remember somebody said, ‘You will never be Beyonce’,” Williams recalled to DJ Envy and Charlamagne Tha God. After briefly pausing for a moment of sarcastic reflection, Williams says, “And you know what, that’s true because the last time I looked on my birth certificate it said ‘Tenitra Michelle Williams, born to the parents of Anita Williams and Dennis Williams’. That’s right. Yep, you’re right.”
She continued, “I have never had the desire to be anybody other than me. Do I admire everything that my singing sisters have accomplished? Do I support them? That is why we’re so cool and we go on trips that people don’t know about to this day because I don’t care to be that. I am so secure in who I am, but I do feel like I was irritated because I wanted them to see me for me. Don’t compare Kelly to Bey. Don’t compare Bey to Kelly or me. You are correct, we will never be each other.”
Kelly Rowland has also felt the daggers of comparison and has been more open about it in recent years. Who can forget her 2013 single “Dirty Laundry” where she touched on how she herself felt being in Beyonce’s shadows.
“While my sister was on stage, killing it like a motherf*****r/I was enraged, feeling it like a motherf******r/Bird in a cage, you would never know what I was dealing with/Went our separate ways, but I was happy she was killing it/Bittersweet, she was up, I was down/No lie, I feel good for her, but what do I do now?/Forget the records, off the record, I was going through some bulls**t/Post Survivor, she on fire, who wanna hear my bulls**t?”
In 2019, Rowland released an EP, The Kelly Rowland Edition, in which she invited young writers and producers to help her create the project. Of the concepts appearing on the EP, she revealed that she wanted to touch on living in somebody’s shadow. “The elephant in the room for me has always been second best,” she said. “That’s actually the first time I’ve said that out loud.” Rowland also spoke on how easy it was to become transparent with those involved.
Rumors of course began to swirl that there were issues between Beyonce and Kelly when the song was released. However, she debunked those rumors when she spoke with Omg! Insider and said their relationship remains strong. “I think the people wanted those stories for years, and that’s just so sad on them because it’s not like that,” Rowland said. “It’s so crazy, and I just think it’s so sad that we live in a world where people don’t want to see women get along and encourage and empower each other, and that’s what we do for each other.”
She added, “I love my sister, and she is so incredibly supportive — one of the closest people to me. I love her to death, and I love being an aunt [to B’s daughter, Blue Ivy].”