Much like our ‘Retro Rewind’ and ‘From the Vault’ segments, readers of That Grape Juice know what avid music lovers we are – especially of hits past. So in a quest to re-spin the gems and jams of yesterday we introduced a new retrospective segment – ‘TGJ Replay’.
Unlike its ‘Rewind’ and ‘Vault’ predecessors, ‘Replay’ looks to dust off and showcase albums (and eras) from a library of pop music hits. From our collection to yours, TGJ presses play on Michelle Williams‘ 2002 debut solo effort ‘Heart To Yours’…
Shortly after their third album ‘Survivor’ spawned their most successful era to date (selling a whopping 15 million copies worldwide), Destiny’s Child members Beyonce, Kelly Rowland, and Michelle Williams announced a “temporary hiatus” to allow each member to pursue solo ventures.
While Bey and Kelly took to television, movies, and worked on mainstream offerings, Williams shocked fans with the announcement of a gospel project.
The news, initially met with mixed review by some of the genre’s traditionalists due to the group’s image, left others questioning if DC3’s “quiet” member could really sail and sell an entire album by her lonesome.
2002’s ‘Heart To Yours’ album swiftly silenced all such criticism. Led by the jazzy ‘Heard A Word’…
‘Heard A Word’
Michelle’s foray into gospel not only showed fans she was able to float an album alone, but gave her the much overdue platform to showcase her own unique vocals. From showcasing soaring soprano belts to near contralto lows, fans were hearing new sides of the ‘Heard A Word’ hitmaker.
Added with the enlistment of fellow hitmakers Carl Thomas, Shirley Caesar, and Mary Mary, ‘Heart’ was heralded as one of 2002’s most solid gospel offerings – merging Michelle’s love of traditional gospel with the genre’s more contemporary, R&B-driven sounds.
‘So Glad’ ft. Mary Mary
‘Steal Away (To Jesus) ft. Destiny’s Child & Shirley Caesar’ (live)
A critical and commercial success, the album topped Billboard’s gospel chart year-end tally and became 2002’s best selling gospel album. To date, the record stands as Michelle’s best solo seller as well, thrusting her into a solo spotlight in her own right.
Opening doors that led Williams to the Broadway stage to further show off her soaring chops, like those demonstrated in the album’s Men of Standard-assisted fan favorite ‘You Care For Me’…
‘You Care For Me (ft. Men of Standard)’
Fast forward ten years later and ‘Heart To Yours’ is still on constant play here at TGJ HQ. So, you can’t blame us for being excited by the news that Michelle the belle will be returning to the gospel music scene later this year with a new album via Light Records. The creation of such, along with her other ventures, is reportedly being recorded and readied for a new reality show also due in the coming months.
While we wait for news to break on what the ‘We Break the Dawn’ diva is cooking up, we’ll push play on ‘Heart’ with hopes the new joint will match or surpass its solidity.
‘Gospel Medley (ft. Destiny’s Child)’