Rockford's own Destiny's Child
Not every community has a Destiny's Child, but Rockford sure does. Tenitra Michelle Williams, more commonly known as Michelle Williams, was born in Rockford on July 23, 1980. Williams attended Auburn High School and was in the Creative and Performing Arts program there. After graduating from Auburn, Williams attended Illinois State University until she was hired as a backup singer for the R&B singer, Monica. After her tour with Monica, Williams was recommended to Beyoncé Knowles and Kelly Rowland to join their group Destiny's Child. The first song Williams recorded with Destiny's Child, "Independent Women Part 1," is also the first song to reach #1 on the pop charts for the group. After recording other major hits like "Survivor" and "Bootylicious" and recording another album, Destiny's Child broke up in 2005. The group did make a surprise appearance together at Beyoncé's 2013 Super Bowl halftime performance:
Since Destiny's Child, Williams has starred in major theatrical productions on Broadway (in "Aida" and "Chicago") and the West End (in "Chicago") as well as in national tours (in "The Color Purple" and "Chicago" and "Fela!"). She also is a successful gospel singer.
(Photo by Glenn Francis found on Wiki Commons)