From The Vault: Michelle Williams – ‘We Break The Dawn’

Published: Sunday 11th Sep 2016 by Joe

This week’s From The Vault comes courtesy of Michelle Williams and her 2008 debut secular solo single ‘We Break The Dawn.’

After the end of Destiny’s Child, the ladies went on with their respective careers: Beyonce pursued acting and of course music; Kelly Rowland serviced her sophomore effort ‘Ms. Kelly; and, to everyone’s surprise, Michelle released her first non-gospel project, the aptly-titled ‘Unexpected’. The electro-tinged ‘Dawn’ served as its lead single.

Penned by Solange Knowles and produced by Wayne Wilkins and Adam Frampton, Michelle’s first solo foray into the mainstream arena saw her score a US Hot Dance Airplay chart-topper. The song also managed a Top 50 placing on the Official UK Singles Chart. It never charted inside the US Billboard Hot 100 and wasn’t exploited the way it could have been overseas. Occurrences some cite politics and a lack of adequate promotion to explain.


Directed by Phil Griffin, the track’s visual saw Williams and her dancer friends turn up on empty night streets. Sporting a new look and a refreshed image, the songstress looked like a million bucks in the visual which reached #1 on the MTV Base video countdown chart.

After returning to faith based music with her fourth effort ‘Journey To Freedom’, it seems Williams secular days are gone. Arguably prematurely, as ‘Unexpected’ makes for a compelling listen; one that showcases the singer’s versatility and viability  as a solo star.

Still, we’d like to know, would YOU be up for an ‘Unexpected’ follow up? Or is Michelle strutting her destined lane already?

Your thoughts?

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  1. BEYSTAN_ SINCE 1997 September 11, 2016

    Poor Michelle, I remember the controversy when this song came out. Apparently Beyonce’s “Single Ladies & If I were a boy” came out 2-3 after “We Break The Dawn” came out and poor Michelle got overshadowed times 100. Many people blasted Matthew for his shady management skills for allowing that to happen. No surprise Michelle fired Matthew as her manager that following year!

    • ? September 11, 2016

      Beyonce and Matthew did Michelle dirty by giving her all this flop material. They did the same thing with Kelly.

    • INAMAD September 11, 2016

      How’s is she poor when she’s worth more than what you’ll ever see?

      Just a correction Beyoncé dropped “Single Ladies” & “If I were a Boy” the same day Michelle’s Unexpected album dropped & that two songs unfortunately overshadowed her entire album.

      • INAMAD September 11, 2016

        How is****

    • ? September 11, 2016

      Stop this car>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

      • scotty September 11, 2016


  2. Honey G September 11, 2016

    I used to be in love with this song. Like damn.
    Michelle did it for me. And I still listen to it. ☺️

  3. grapejuicefan September 11, 2016

    Love this song and album “Unexpected”

  4. #JACKIE September 11, 2016

    Never heard this song…

    • Dc3 forever September 11, 2016

      Kill yourself then

      • #JACKIE September 11, 2016

        Why you mad, fāg?

  5. INAMAD September 11, 2016

    This song was Dope…….

  6. 2bad2bme September 11, 2016

    I replayed this song all the time a she had some bops on Unexpected for sure!

    • INAMAD September 11, 2016

      Hungover and Stop This Car was my s***

      • ANNA September 11, 2016

        Yes! Hungover and Private Party were unexpected bops. I see you Tenitra!!!

      • No1LuvsMeLikeU September 11, 2016

        and “Thank U” love that song

  7. lolhart September 11, 2016

    This really should have been bigger. Can’t believe it wasn’t a hit in the UK at least.

  8. BIGGESTAALIYAHFAN September 11, 2016

    This was before dance music went international I loved this, but I “You’re the Greatest” even more. This could’ve been a huge era for her.

  9. Dc3 forever September 11, 2016

    God where to begin. First off this song had #1 hit written all over it when this leaked in the beginning of 2008 everyone who heard it was floored it was new it was fresh it was something that hadn’t been done before it was the lack or push and low budget video that made this HIT go to waste. Next was the album it’s self that album was one of the few albums in our generation that you could listen to from beginning to end. The album is a classic album I remember DC3 fans being pissed that the day of the album release there was no album and they pushed it a month back on the day of. Had it been for the right promotion and better all around management this album would have been super successful. This album could have been super single heavy.

    Lead single: We Break The Dawn
    Follow Up single: Lucky Girl (for the summertime)
    3rd single: The Greatest (let’s not get on this and how this should have been Song Of The Year)
    4th: Hello Heartbreak/ Unexpected
    And lastly: THANK YOU (which could have been on Destiny Fulfilled as well.

    All and all this whole era was over shadowed for the lack of belief in the project and lack of belief in her by the label and management.

    But it’s all good because Michelle got her freedom and the last laugh in the end

  10. TrinaQueenOfTheSouth September 11, 2016

    This was a good song and album… My favorite song from that album is Hello Heartbreak! YouTube that song!!! #MichelleDoYouBoo

  11. Molly #TheMostRelevantBitch September 11, 2016

    I remember this

  12. iamdiego September 11, 2016

    I think michelle should switch it up again.. give us a soul album with that voice. she had all the best parts on destiny fulfilled.

    • ANNA September 11, 2016

      YES!!! Her parts on “Through With Love”, “If” and “Love” with the TRUTH! everyone said Michelle didn’t fit in with Destiny’s Child but on that last album she slayed and took names hunny!

  13. GEEZUS September 11, 2016

    I remembered this album. ?

  14. TurkeyNoodleSavage September 11, 2016

    I always wondered how come Michelle hasn’t given us a nice R&B album . I could see her getting some dope beats from Missy ( kinda like Tweet ) . Michelle has such a unique voice .

  15. Angela Wesley September 11, 2016

    Thank you to Sam and crew for posting this from the vault
    video. I thought Michelle only put out gospel albums. The
    song and the album could have been a big hit for Michelle.
    But we all know that Matthew was looking out for Beyonce
    interest, and not Michelle and Kelly’s interest. But like
    someone said Kelly and Michelle got the last laugh.

  16. MusicLife September 11, 2016

    I really wanted this song to become a breakout hit single for her. Michelle was the first DC girl to create dance music, way to go!

  17. Shaquannamensha September 11, 2016

    I remember being so mad about how this album was handled. I would follow this website to get the latestm. Her youtube vlogs were getting sadder and sadder. This whole album is complete fire and I cant twll you how hard Hungover goes in dem streets. Put it on and turn da volume all da way up.

  18. Nowqd Reddish trjoan ivy blobukz Need UK timely Ukuno eremixi September 11, 2016

    Nice song

  19. Jackx September 12, 2016

    Who, idk her

  20. FutureClassic September 12, 2016

    I remember clearly that it was yesterday. The album got leaked, the video came out, Beyonce two singles was released, Chris Brown single ‘Forever’ came out with the similar Electro sound with similar tune as We break the dawn, recession year for the music industry – budget video and a transition from physical album sale to online sale. I just think that this album was dropped at the wrong time. However, Michelle we break the dawn and the greatest was no1 on club chart, almost all the club playing her songs. Can’t say if the promotion did justice, she did not perform the song on any large platform – any music award shows. I would like her to sing another dance album or a r&b album, anything but Gospel. We all know what she can do is Gospel album, its time to jazz it up Michelle!

  21. Paulo September 12, 2016

    Unexpected – that is one great and underrated Pop album. 🙁

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