Mississippi is home to many things. It’s the home of the blues, cotton fields, Oprah, and the teddy bear. The great state gave birth to many great things while also being infamous for its cut-throat treatment of black people in the US. Some have mixed feelings about the 48,430 miles of land sitting next to the Mississippi River and some are even afraid to step foot on its soil because of its notorious history. But despite the many fears of the great state, generations of families continued to live and thrive in the humid and hilly land. Rubie Lee Lester and her husband Hot Shot were among the many born and raised Mississippians who lived in the Hill country of Mississippi. In 1974, they gave birth to their last child; a girl named Sherna KloKnese. And in 1996, Sherna married Joseph and they too had a little girl the next year on Friday, June 13th at 6:40 in the morning.
This little girl would grow to sing before she could form full sentences. She would enjoy the fact that she shared the name with one of the best girl groups ever, Destiny’s Child and confidently sing along to their hit “Bills Bills Bills” as if she had a man of her own. Before she was 10, she was playing piano and writing songs and singing about love as if she’d been alive for forty years. This little girl would sing all around Mississippi at the request of her hopeful aunt who knew that her niece had talent. She would stand in the long lines early in the morning hoping for a chance for her voice to be heard on the top singing competition shows, and entered into any talent show she could. Today, this little girl is now a young woman continuing to pursue her love of good music. Her voice is unmistakably a gift from God who made sure that her mother insisted she learn to play the piano.
A mixture of gospel, blues, jazz, and soul melt together to make this singer and songwriter’s lyrics and chords stand out among her peers. She has grown from her infatuation of love songs to tackling topics such as the traces of that Mississippi racism that continues to linger in the systems of the US. Destiny Stone is this little girl who grew up to become an old soul in a young woman’s body. Though she has many years left to live, she takes on the lives of those around her and those who have come before her to create her soulful sound. It comes from within. From that upbringing in Mississippi which led her to college in the Carolinas and will take her on to the next destination.