CLEVELAND, Ohio – Michelle Williams knows a thing or two about being part of a female vocal trio.
After all, she and her “sisters forever” Beyonce Knowles and Kelly Rowland first made their mark on the music scene as Destiny’s Child. So, could we see a “Supremes Part II” — her teamed with the former Supreme Mary Wilson and maybe Martha Reeves — at Saturday’s Annual Music Masters tribute to Smokey Robinson?
“That’s hilarious,” Williams said, calling from her home in California. She added that music director Adam Blackstone hasn’t broached the idea with her, but she wouldn’t be averse to it.
“If I’m asked, I will,” said Williams.
But don’t look at it being a precursor to a Destiny’s Child reunion.
“It’s something the three of us never talk about,” said Williams, who noted that rumors about such a reunion are always out there.
For now, she’s focusing on her solo career, and looking forward to meeting the legends of Motown like Wilson, the Temptations’ Dennis Edwards and Reeves, all of whom will be in town to honor the man who was label founder Berry Gordy’s right-hand man.
“I’m curious to hear their stories,” said Williams.
Williams, now 35, was too young to have heard the Motown stars in their heyday, but that doesn’t mean she’s unaware of the music – and especially of Robinson’s role in it.
“The first time I met him was about 10 or 12 years ago,” she said. Williams and Robinson were among a plethora of stars on “Celebrity Duets” who were paired with actors in the reality show competition.
“I love Smokey Robinson,” Williams said. “Every time I’ve seen him, he’s always been gracious and very, very, very nice.
“How come I wasn’t born Smokey Robinson?” she joked. “He’s so talented and versatile.”
So it didn’t take her long to say yes when the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum called to see if she’d be interested in participating in the Music Masters concert.
The idea of being a part of the Motown family – even if just for a night – appeals to her.
“Whether you were born then or not, the music still plays today, and that’s a testimony in itself,” Williams said.
Motown may have been the label home of a generation of black artists, but Williams said its impact exceeded any color boundaries.
“Of course it paved the way for black artists, but it paved the way for a lot of artists, even white artists,” she said.
“Think how many artists were inspired by that sound and who covered those Motown songs,” Williams said. “The Rolling Stones were enamored with that sound,” as were the Beatles.
That sort of musical cross-pollination has been a key factor in Williams career, which has seen her succeed as a pop artist, on the musical theater stage and especially in the gospel ranks.
“I love all genres of music,” Williams said. “My dad had milk crates full of all kinds of vinyl, from heavy metal to hip-hop.”
Including, of course, the music of Smokey Robinson and the Motown family.
Tickets available here!