Independent Women Of Destiny’s Child Coordinate Solo Projects

Albums will be staggered so they don't overlap.

To ensure they don’t rival each other on the charts, the ladies of Destiny’s Child will stagger their solo albums over the next year and a half and pursue film and television projects in their respective musical downtimes.

First up with a solo disc will be Michelle Williams, who is planning a gospel album for early next year, according to Mathew Knowles, DC’s manager and the father of singer Beyoncé Knowles. The record will include Williams’ duet with veteran gospel singer Shirley Caesar on “Steal Away to Jesus” — a ballad that will first appear on Caesar’s album Hymns, due October 30. Williams plans to record the remainder of her album before year’s end and will mark her arrival in the gospel world at January’s Stellar Gospel Music Awards. Destiny’s Child’s “Gospel Medley” and “Outro (DC-3) Thank You,” which originally appeared on Survivor, will serve as bonus tracks on Williams’ disc.

Beyoncé is expected to announce next week that she has accepted a supporting actress role in a major movie, her father said. After completing that project, she will turn her attention toward a solo album, due next fall.

Kelly Rowland’s solo debut will be the last to drop, surfacing in early 2003 and sporting an “alternative R&B” style, Knowles said. Kelly’s plans in the meantime include making appearances on television, beginning with a guest-star role on an episode of the Nickelodeon sitcom “Taina.” The episode will be shot in early December.

“I wouldn’t want any of my artists to directly compete with each other,” Knowles said. “They’re so multitalented that while one’s working TV, the other can be working a record.”

Between all the solo projects, the ladies will still find plenty of time to be a trio. Destiny’s Child are planning to headline a tour kicking off in March or April that will also feature Beyoncé’s younger sister, Solange, and other artists managed by Knowles. The trek will concentrate on cities that Destiny’s Child didn’t already visit on MTV’s recent “TRL” tour.

Solange is scheduled to release her debut, Solo Star, in February. Solo Star’s title track appeared on this summer’s “Osmosis Jones” soundtrack (see “Kid Rock, St. Lunatics, Uncle Kracker Do ’Osmosis Jones'” ).

The album will also include a duet with Beyoncé and a guest appearance from Destiny’s Child. Solange and DC already collaborated on the theme song to the Disney Channel’s animated series “The Proud Family.”