Keyshia… can you handle it? I don’t think you can handle it.
Keyshia Cole hasn’t had the easiest life by any means, but she has overcome a majority of the obstacles thrown her way. However, there are some battles that she’s found out that she simply cannot win, and social media is seemingly here to constantly remind her to “stay in her lane”.
This particular moment in her story brings us to another R&B/Gospel superstar. The life of Tenitra Michelle Williams, known to most by “Michelle Williams”, without a doubt changed when the singer was chosen to become the newest permanent member of Destiny’s Child, when original members LeToya Luckett and Latavia Robinson were cast out of the group. It hasn’t been the best and fills with positivity.
Destiny’s Child has always been a hit-making group, and the addition of the “Heard A Word” singer only brought on a new era of hits. Fans were introduced to both her and former member Farrah Franklin, whose stay in DC was very short-lived, when the video for Say My Name debuted. The hits kept pouring in when fans were given the group’s third album, and first as a trio, Survivor.
Michelle’s journey with the group was not met with a boatload of positive moments, as she also became a victim of cyberbullying, an act that would also continue to severely follow with the group’s disbandment. Unbeknownst to many at the time, Williams was suffering from massive depression.
The singer revealed in 2017 to BBC UK that during the height of the group’s success she had become suicidal, saying she was “at that place where it got so dark and heavy because sometimes you feel like ‘I’m the provider, I take care of people, I’m not supposed to be feeling this way – what do I do?” She wanted out, she said.
Over the years, the “Believe in Me” singer has done the work and continues to actively do the work to retain control of the dark moments. “People might tell you ‘Oh my gosh you’re great, you have a great calling on your life,’ or ‘Oh your hair is so pretty today,'” Williams told The Christian Post. “… If I come to you and give you a compliment, it probably should be confirmation of what you already know. I just did not believe, I didn’t think I was as good as other people around me.”
In another interview with Sister 2 Sister Magazine, she spoke on the cyberbullying she continued to face, and how she chooses to respond at times. “I think the cyberbullying is just stupid because the majority of the time most of the cyber bullies just type it, but when they see you on the street, they’re not gonna say it to your face,” Michelle expressed. ”Every now and then, depending on what day you catch me, if you say something out of line to me — because I don’t want you to be ignorant, I want you to be knowledgeable — I will spit something back to you that’s factual and I’ll say, ‘God bless you’ at the end.”
A particular moment that blew up on social media pertaining to Williams involved Keyshia Cole, after Williams reunited with her Destiny’s Child bandmates, Beyonce and Kelly Rowland, at the 2013 Super Bowl Halftime show held in New Orleans. While the showing garnered widespread acclaim from viewers and fans, Cole found fault, in particular with Williams.
Taking to her Twitter the “Let It Go” singer wrote, “F— that s–t up then Beyonce! Bad b— central,” praising the singer’s solo set. Cole changes her tone, however, when the “Single Ladies” singer is joined by Destiny’s Child, prompting Keyshia to tweet, “I think I was frightened to blink for a sec. Then Michell [sic] sung and woke my ass up from my daze! She always f*ckN the groove up.”
I think I was frightened to blink for a sec. Then Michell sung and woke my ass up from my daze! She always fuckN the groove up— Keyshia Cole (@KeyshiaCole) February 4, 2013
She added, “And yes my mom uses drugs yes it’s hard. Yes I’m from Oakland and made it damn far without influential biological parents,” after being unceremoniously attacked by the Beyhive as well as DC and Michelle’s supporters. “But hey! I love y’all too! And y’all girl is WACK and always will be! #Boss!!” she continued.
Williams later spoke with HuffPost and Marc Lamont Hill, where he brought up the social media incident. Hesitant at first, she responded with hopes of a resolution. “I don’t like indifference. I like to get to understandings, I’ll say that,” she said. “Just with anything, I like to get clarity. ‘If I offended you, I’m sorry.’ Or just, ‘Hey, what happened?’ I want to have those moments with anybody that feels a certain way.”
Upon hearing Williams’s remarks, Cole responded by tweeting: “I apologize for the mean things I said, it hurt me when I went to your page and saw what you said during my performance. And that still doesn’t make it okay. I said what I said out of anger. And that’s the absolutely wrong time to say things.” The public apology prompted a response from Williams, who accepted Cole’s gesture. “Apology accepted @KeyshiaCole! We had an amazing conversation and I also say sorry for ANY misunderstandings. I’m so happy this happened,” she wrote on Twitter.
Apology accepted @KeyshiaCole! We had an amazing conversation and I also say sorry for ANY misunderstandings! I’m so happy this happened!— Michelle Williams (@RealMichelleW) September 8, 2013
Most recently, the multi-platinum singer Grammy award-winning artist has announced a memoir that will discuss her struggles with depression, as well as other intimate details of her life that she has never shared. Checking In: How Getting Real about Depression Saved My Life —and Can Save Yours will hit shelves on May 25, 2021, and fans, as well as all book lovers, can expect the “good, bad, and ugly,”. “Getting real about depression saved my life and I hope it can do the same for you,” Williams wrote on her Instagram. “I had to be intentional about checking in with myself, checking in with others, and checking in with God.”