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At the 30th Annual Stellar Gospel Awards, which took place at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday, something unexpected happened. A surprise Destiny’s Child reunion had taken to the stage, to perform Michelle Williams’s gospel track, Say Yes. The performance came as a total and complete surprise, with not even so much as a rumor in advance. The last time the Pop and R&B trio reunited onstage, was for Beyonce’s halftime performance at Super Bowl XLVII in 2013.
Prior to the live performance, Beyonce, Kelly Rowland and Williams all reunited in the studio last year to record the song Say Yes, sampled from Nigerian gospel song When Jesus Says Yes, with the former two subsequently appearing in the video. Later on that night, Williams took home a Stellar Award for Music Video of the Year for that video, while also scoring nominations for Urban/Inspiration Single of the Year and Song of the Year, also for Say Yes, and Female Vocalist of the Year for her album, Journey to Freedom. She later thanked her former Destiny’s Child band mates, Rowland and Beyonce, for their support in an Instagram post.
Williams said of Beyonce and Rowland, “I have their back and they have mine. They have shown themselves to be loyal to me time after time.” The recording of the song, Say Yes, also came as a surprise Destiny’s Child reunion of sorts, with Williams sharing the song with Rowland and Beyonce without any intention of having them record with her. They both admired the track so much, that they wanted to do a Destiny’s Child “mix” of it. “Kelly did it and (then) Beyoncé got right in the studio and did her part. I kept it a secret because I didn’t want anyone to know until it was time,” Williams said of the recording process.
The performance, which lasted seven minutes, was said by attendees to have been gloriously harmonized, their vocals offering a strong elaboration of the song’s inspiring message. They all wore light cream-colored jackets, with Williams being placed in the center position, with Beyonce and Rowland flanking her.
Destiny’s Child, known for hit singles such as Say My Name and Independent Women Part I, released their last album, Destiny Fulfilled, in 2004. Although they insisted it would be their last album, all three members have said time and time again that future reunions were not out of the question. This is their second reunion to occur since the halftime show at Superbowl XLVII. Some have speculated that they are planning on getting back together to record another album.
The 30th Annual Stellar Gospel Awards is slated to be televised on April 5th, at 8 P.M. on premium cable channel TV One, but videos and photos of the performance have already been put in circulation, both of which have many people on social media talking. In addition to wide speculation of a full-blown reunion, many have also praised the song Destiny’s Child sang at their surprise reunion performance, exposing a wider audience to the upbeat, dance music-influenced gospel track.
By Philip Cunningham