Rowland in April 2012
|Birth name||Kelendria Trene Rowland|
February 11, 1981 |
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
|Genres||R&B, pop, hip hop, dance|
|Occupations||Singer, songwriter, dancer, actress, television personality|
|Labels||Columbia, Republic, Universal Motown|
|Associated acts||Destiny's Child, Nelly, David Guetta, Lil Wayne|
Kelendria Trene "Kelly" Rowland (born February 11, 1981) is an American recording artist, songwriter, dancer, actress and television personality. Born in Atlanta, Georgia and raised in Houston, Texas, Rowland rose to fame as a founding member of Destiny's Child, who have sold 50 million records worldwide, making them one of the world's best-selling girl groups. As of November 2012, Rowland, as a solo artist, has sold over 24 million records worldwide. Her work has earned her several achievements, including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame with Destiny's Child, four Grammy Awards, two Billboard Music Awards, and a Soul Train Music Award. Rowland has been honored by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) and Essence magazine for her contributions to music.
Rowland released her debut solo album Simply Deep in 2002, while Destiny's Child was in recess. It produced her worldwide number-one single "Dilemma" with rapper Nelly, and the international top-ten hit "Stole". The album topped the UK Albums Chart and sold more than 2.5 million copies worldwide. Following the group's disbandment in 2005, Rowland released her second solo effort Ms. Kelly in 2007 and despite being less successful than its predecessor, it included the international top-ten singles "Like This" and "Work". Rowland scored her second worldwide number-one hit in 2009, as a featured artist on French DJ David Guetta's single "When Love Takes Over", and two years later she collaborated with Italian DJ Alex Gaudino on the international top-ten single "What a Feeling". Both songs are included in the international edition of her third album Here I Am (2011), which topped the US R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart. It also included the international top-ten single "Commander" and the US R&B number-one "Motivation".
Apart from her work in music, Rowland has also launched a career in film and television. In 2002, she made her acting debut with guest appearances on sitcom series The Hughleys and Taina, prior to appearing in various films, including Freddy vs. Jason (2003), The Seat Filler (2004) and Think Like a Man (2012). In 2007, Rowland appeared as a choirmaster on the reality show Clash of the Choirs, and in 2009 she served as the host on Bravo's reality competition series The Fashion Show alongside Isaac Mizrahi. Rowland served as a judge for the eighth series of UK version of The X Factor in 2011, and will serve as a judge for the third season of the American version in 2013. In 2012, she became a dance master on the first series of the Australian dance talent show Everybody Dance Now.
Early life 
Kelendria Trene Rowland was born on February 11, 1981, in Atlanta, Georgia. She is the daughter of Doris Rowland Garrison and Christopher Lovett. When she was seven, her mother took her and left her father, who was an abusive alcoholic. At the age of eight, she relocated to Houston. Rowland was placed into a rapping and dancing group, along with Beyoncé Knowles and friend LaTavia Roberson. Originally named Girl's Tyme in 1992, they were eventually cut down to six members. West coast R&B producer, Arne Frager, flew into Houston to see them and eventually brought them to his studio, The Plant Recording Studio, in Northern California. As part of efforts to sign Girl's Tyme to a major label record deal, Frager's strategy was to debut them in Star Search, the biggest talent show on national TV at that time. They participated, but lost the competition.
To manage the group, Mathew Knowles, Beyoncé's father, resigned in 1995 from his job as a medical-equipment salesman. He dedicated his time and established a "boot camp" for their training. At this time Rowland moved in with the Knowles. Not long after the inclusion of Rowland, Mathew cut the original lineup to four with LeToya Luckett joining in 1993. Rehearsing in Tina Knowles' hair styling salon and their backyards, the group continued performing as an opening act for other established R&B girl groups of the time. They auditioned before record labels and were finally signed to Elektra Records, only to be dropped months later, before they could release an album.
1997–02: Breakthrough with Destiny's Child 
Taken from a passage in the Biblical Book of Isaiah, the group changed their name to Destiny's Child in 1993. Together, they performed in local events and, after four years on the road, the group was signed to Columbia Records in late 1997. That same year, Destiny's Child recorded their major label debut song "Killing Time", for the soundtrack to the 1997 film, Men in Black. The following year, the group released their self-titled debut album, spawning hits such as "No, No, No". The album established the group as a viable act in the music industry, amassing moderate sales and winning the group three Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards. The group rose to stardom after releasing their multi-platinum second album The Writing's on the Wall in 1999. The record featured some of the group's most widely known songs such as "Bills, Bills, Bills", "Jumpin' Jumpin'" and "Say My Name", which became their most-successful song at the time, and would remain as one of their signature songs. "Say My Name" won Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals and Best R&B Song at the 43rd Grammy Awards. The Writing's on the Wall sold more than 15 million copies worldwide, essentially becoming their breakthrough album.
Along with their commercial successes, the group became entangled in much-publicized turmoil involving the filing of a lawsuit by Luckett and Roberson for breach of contract. The issue was heightened after Michelle Williams and Farrah Franklin appeared in the video of "Say My Name", implying that Luckett and Roberson had already been replaced. Eventually, Luckett and Roberson left the group. Franklin would eventually fade from the group after five months, as evidenced by her absences during promotional appearances and concerts. She attributed her departure to negative vibes in the group resulting from the strife. After settling on their final lineup, the trio recorded "Independent Women Part I", which appeared on the soundtrack to the 2000 film, Charlie's Angels. It became their best-charting single, topping the Billboard Hot 100 for eleven consecutive weeks. The success cemented the new lineup and skyrocketed them to fame. Later that year, Luckett and Roberson withdrew their case against their now-former band mates, while maintaining the suit against Mathew, which ended in both sides agreeing to stop public disparaging.
Later that year, while Destiny's Child was completing their third album Survivor, Rowland appeared on the remix of Avant's single "Separated". Survivor, which channeled the turmoil the band underwent, spawned its lead single of the same name, which was a response to the experience. The song went on to win a Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. The themes of "Survivor", however, caused Luckett and Roberson to refile their lawsuit; the proceedings were eventually settled in June 2002. Meanwhile, the album was released in May 2001, debuting at number one on the US Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 663,000 copies sold. To date, Survivor has sold over twelve million copies worldwide, over forty percent of which were sold in the US alone. The album also spawned the number-one hit "Bootylicious". After releasing their remix album This Is the Remix in 2002, the group announced their temporary break-up to pursue solo projects.
2002–06: Simply Deep, Destiny Fulfilled and group disbandment 
In June 2002, Kelly Rowland was featured on Nelly's single "Dilemma". The song won the pair a Grammy for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration and became one of the most successful singles of the year, topping many charts worldwide including the United States, where it became Rowland's first number-one single as a solo artist. Caroline Sullivan of The Guardian wrote that because of the song's success, "Rowland is no longer a mere backing vocalist for Beyoncé Knowles".
Rowland's debut solo album Simply Deep was released on October 22, 2002 in the US. Featuring production contributions by Mark J. Feist, Big Bert, Rich Harrison, and singers Brandy and Solange Knowles providing background vocals, the album took Rowland's solo work further into an alternative music mixture, which Rowland described as a "weird fusion [of] a little bit of Sade and a little bit of rock." Simply Deep debuted at number 12 on the Billboard 200 and at number three on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, with first-week sales of 77,000 copies sold. It was eventually certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). As of 2013, it remains as Rowland's best-selling album in the US, with 602,000 copies sold. Released to an even bigger success in international territories, the album topped the UK Albums Chart and became a gold-seller in Australia, Canada and New Zealand, resulting into worldwide sales total of 2.5 million copies. Simply Deep yielded the moderately successful singles "Stole" and "Can't Nobody".
Rowland branched out into acting in 2002, playing the recurring role of Carly in the fourth season of UPN sitcom The Hughleys. She continued her acting career the following year, with guest roles in UPN sitcom Eve as Cleo, and in NBC drama series American Dreams as Martha Reeves. In August 2003, Rowland made her big screen debut playing the supporting role of Kia Waterson alongside Robert Englund and Monica Keena in the slasher film, Freddy vs. Jason, which grossed $114.5 million at the box office worldwide. In July 2004, Rowland starred opposite Duane Martin and Shemar Moore in the romantic comedy The Seat Filler, which grossed $17.9 million worldwide. She played Jhnelle, a pop star who falls for an awards-show seat filler whom she mistakes for a high-profile entertainment attorney.
After a three-year journey that involved concentration on individual solo projects, Rowland rejoined Beyoncé Knowles and Michelle Williams for Destiny's Child's final studio album Destiny Fulfilled, released on November 15, 2004. The album hit number two on the Billboard 200, and spawned the hit singles "Lose My Breath" and "Soldier". Destiny's Child embarked on a worldwide concert tour, Destiny Fulfilled ... And Lovin' It. During the last stop of the European tour in Barcelona, Spain, on June 11, 2005, Rowland announced that they would disband following the North American leg of the tour. Destiny's Child released their first compilation album Number 1's on October 25, 2005 in the US, which included all of their number-one hits and most of their well-known songs. On March 28, 2006, Destiny's Child accepted a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Rowland returned to television in 2006, playing ambitious 21-year-old apprentice Tammy Hamilton, in the sixth season of UPN sitcom Girlfriends. Rowland initially hoped her three-episode stint would expand to a larger recurring role, but as the show was moved to The CW network the following year plans for a return eventually went nowhere.
2007–10: Ms. Kelly, new management and label 
In June 2007, Kelly Rowland embarked on the Ms. Kelly Tour to promote her second solo album Ms. Kelly. The five date tour visited Europe, North America, Africa and Asia. Ms. Kelly was released on July 3, 2007 in the United States. Originally entitled My Story, the album's first version was actually scheduled for a June 2006 release, but Rowland, her management and Columbia Records decided to shelve the album at the last minute to re-work a version with a different vibe as the singer considered the final tracklisting "too full of midtempos and ballads." Rowland eventually consulted additional producers to collaborate on the album, including Billy Mann, Mysto & Pizzi, Sean Garrett, Scott Storch and Polow da Don. Upon its release, Ms. Kelly debuted at number six on the Billboard 200, and at number two on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, with first-week sales of 86,000 copies. Outside the US, the album widely failed to reprise the success of Simply Deep, barely reaching the top-forty on the majority of all charts it appeared on, except for the UK, where it opened at number 37.
Ms. Kelly included the moderately successful singles "Like This", which features Eve, and "Work". In July 2007, Rowland released her first DVD entitled BET Presents Kelly Rowland. The DVD, which celebrates the release Ms. Kelly, featured an interview with Rowland about the production of Ms. Kelly, footage of her time with Destiny's Child, live performances and music videos. Following the album's lukewarm sales, it was re-released as an extended play entitled, Ms. Kelly: Diva Deluxe, on March 25, 2008. Previously unreleased Bobby Womack cover "Daylight", a collaboration with Travie McCoy, served as the EP's lead single and was a moderate success in the UK. By April 2008, Ms. Kelly had managed to sell over 1.2 million copies worldwide.
In October 2007, Rowland auditioned for the role of Louise, Carrie Bradshaw's assistant, in the 2008 film adaptation of HBO's comedy series Sex and the City. The part eventually went to Jennifer Hudson. Two months later, Rowland appeared as a choirmaster on the NBC reality show Clash of the Choirs among other musicians such as Michael Bolton, Patti LaBelle, Nick Lachey, and Blake Shelton. Rowland's choir finished fifth in the competition.
In January 2009, Rowland ended her professional relationship with Beyoncé's father Mathew Knowles. He had managed her career since the late 1990s, when Rowland was a member of Destiny's Child. Knowles stressed that no animosity was involved in the decision and acknowledged that Rowland will always be a part of the Knowles family. Then two months later, Rowland announced that she left Columbia Records, adding that she "felt the need to explore new directions, new challenges, and new freedoms outside my comfort zone." In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Rowland stated that the decision to leave was not hers: the label ended her contract because Ms. Kelly was not commercially successful. She later signed with Universal Motown Records.
In April 2009, Rowland was featured on French DJ David Guetta's single "When Love Takes Over", which was a commercial success worldwide, reaching number one in Belgium, Czech Republic, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. "When Love Takes Over" received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Dance Recording. In May 2009, Rowland was cast to host Bravo's reality competition series The Fashion Show alongside Isaac Mizrahi. In April 2010, Rowland toured Australia alongside Akon, Pitbull, Sean Paul, Jay Sean and Eve for the Australian urban festival, Supafest. Later that month, Rowland's song "Everywhere You Go", featuring an all-star supergroup of international artists called Rhythm of Africa United, was released as the MTN theme song for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Rowland's first compilation album, Work: The Best of Kelly Rowland, was released on October 25, 2010, but failed to impact the charts.
2011–12: Here I Am 
In January 2011, Kelly Rowland reunited with Nelly on "Gone", a sequel to their successful 2002 collaboration "Dilemma". Upon its release, the song failed to reprise the success of "Dilemma". In April 2011, Rowland appeared on Italian DJ Alex Gaudino's single "What a Feeling", which was moderately successful in Europe. Originally scheduled for release in 2010, Rowland's third studio album Here I Am was released on July 26, 2011 in the United States. The album sold 77,000 copies in its first week and debuted atop the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. Here I Am produced the successful US single "Motivation", which features Lil Wayne, and the moderately successful international singles "Commander" and "Down for Whatever". "Motivation" was viewed as Rowland's comeback single, as the song topped the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart for seven consecutive weeks and was certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). "Motivation" won Song of the Year at the 2011 Soul Train Music Awards and Top R&B Song at the 2012 Billboard Music Awards, and received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. Rowland's second compilation album, Playlist: the Very Best of Kelly Rowland, was released on October 18, 2011, but failed to impact the charts.
Later that year, Rowland returned to television as a judge on the eighth series of The X Factor (UK). Due to a conflicting schedule, Rowland stepped down as a judge in 2012. During the Black Women in Music event held on February 8, 2012, Essence magazine honored Rowland and music executive Sylvia Rhone for their contributions to music. In April 2012, Rowland toured Australia alongside Ludacris, Chris Brown, Ice Cube, Lupe Fiasco and Big Sean for the urban festival, Supafest. That same month, she had a supporting role in the motion picture Think Like a Man, which also starred Chris Brown, Gabrielle Union, and Keri Hilson. Rowland recorded "Need a Reason" with Future and Bei Major for the film's soundtrack. In August 2012, Rowland became a judge alongside Jason Derulo, for the first season of the Australian talent show Everybody Dance Now. However, after the fourth episode aired, the show was cancelled due to poor ratings. Rowland reportedly signed on to the BET network's new television series What Would Dylan Do?. A pilot for the sitcom, from producer Warren Hutcherson, was filmed in fall 2012.
2013: Talk a Good Game 
In January 2013, Destiny's Child released a compilation album titled Love Songs, featuring a collection of romance-themed songs from their previous albums as well as newly-recorded song "Nuclear". On February 3, during Beyoncé's performance at the Super Bowl XLVII halftime show, held at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Rowland and Michelle Williams joined Beyoncé on stage and performed "Bootylicious", "Independent Women" and "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)". In April, it was reported that Rowland was in talks with Simon Cowell to replace Britney Spears on the US version of The X Factor. It was officially announced the next month that she would be joining the show's third season alongside Cowell, Demi Lovato, and Paulina Rubio.
Rowland's Lights Out Tour, co-headlined with The-Dream, begins on May 23 in Minneapolis and ends on June 28 in San Francisco. Rowland's fourth studio album Talk a Good Game is due for release on June 18. Formerly titled Year of the Woman, it will be Rowland's first release with Republic Records following Universal Music Group's decision to close Universal Motown and Universal Republic, and reviving Motown Records and Republic Records. The album's first single "Kisses Down Low" was a moderate success on the US R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. "Ice", which features Lil Wayne, was originally released as the first single, however it did not make the album's final cut. The second single is "Dirty Laundry".
Musical style 
"Rose Colored Glasses"'s "emotionally-charged" chorus: one of her songs with more pop influences.
Sample of "Ice", backed by a thunderous beat, finger snaps and light synths riffs.
|Problems listening to these files? See media help.|
Rowland can be classfied as a mezzo-soprano, and her music includes various styles of musical genres, including contemporary R&B, pop, hip hop, soul, rock and dance. Her debut solo album Simply Deep (2002) followed an adult-alternative rock sound, while her second album Ms. Kelly (2007) featured an urban sound. In an interview with The Independent, Rowland admitted that with her first two albums she struggled to find her sound. "I was in a stage with the first two records where I was searching and I was like, let me try a rock-dance approach, the label [and management] wanted me to try it and I did it ... And then after that came a more urban approach with Ms. Kelly in 2007." Her third album Here I Am (2011) consisted of a pop and R&B sound, with subtle influences of dance. Rowland stated that meeting French DJ David Guetta has influenced her to record dance music. During production of the album, Rowland stated that part of the reason for the new sound on Here I Am was wanting to do something different, saying "I knew I couldn't be afraid of this direction, and I wasn't going to let the thoughts and opinions of others make me afraid to go in this direction".
Most of the lyrical themes in Simply Deep (2002) speak of love and life experiences, particularly in the songs "Dilemma", in which Rowland expresses her endless love to her love interest, and "Stole", in which she sings about an emotional "tale of school shootings and suicides". In Ms. Kelly (2007), Rowland covers topics such as her "deeply personal relationship issues" in her songs, "Still in Love with My Ex", "Flashback", "Love", "Better Without You" and "Gotsta Go (Part I)". Alex Macpherson of The Guardian noted that the songs could be about Rowland's former relationship with American football player Roy Williams. Here I Am (2011) included common themes of womanhood, sexual intimacy and love. Some of Rowland's other songs such as "Work", "I'm Dat Chick" and "Work It Man" have been musically compared to the work of former bandmate Beyoncé Knowles.
Rowland has cited Whitney Houston and Janet Jackson as her biggest musical influences. Following the news of Houston's death, Rowland commented, "I am beyond heartbroken. Whitney Houston was undoubtedly one of the greatest singers & performers of all time & such a huge influence on me. She embraced me when I first started out with Destiny's Child, with love, with encouragement and with that powerhouse voice". Rowland has also drawn inspiration from Beyoncé, Destiny's Child, Sade, Martin Luther King Jr., Donna Summer, Diana Ross, Oprah Winfrey and Brandy. When speaking of Winfrey, she stated, "Nobody's perfect, but she comes so close! She's like the female version of God. She inspires me to work hard and give back". Rowland also stated that living in Miami has influenced her style, growth, and music. From a fashion perspective, Rowland has viewed her grandmother, Halle Berry, Jennifer Lopez, Beyoncé, and Oprah as her style icons.
Public image 
Destiny's Child were compared to The Supremes, a 1960s American female singing group. Whilst Knowles was compared to Ross, Kelly Rowland perhaps considered to be Destiny's Child deputy leader has been equated to Mary Wilson, the Supremes's second lead singer. Wilson declared about their second lead singer-position in the groups as "Same as our situation..." and about the possibility to emerge as solo artist, she says "It's very difficult, but it can be done. You've got to really want to I give that and that way it will work.". Rowland performed live with Wilson and Cindy Birdsong of The Supremes at the Motown 45th anniversary, in 2004. After the international success of her worldwide hit singles Dilemma and Stole and of her debut album Simply Deep, music critics wrote of Rowland as an emancipated and different artist from Beyoncé, that has established herself as a solo singer and songwriter. In the first three albums of the group, Rowland sang her solo verses and briges in a lot of songs (like in the hit singles "Bills, Bills, Bills", "Independent Woman", "Survivor" and "Bootylicious"), leaded choruses ("Say My Name") and harmonized Knowles ("No, No, No" and "Jumpin' Jumpin'"), but in Destiny Fulfilled she conquered more space in all songs of album. With her following solo albums, Rowland reaches a more mature and provocative image, treating themes of female strength, love and sexuality and showing a notable versatility of musical styles, moving herself from R&B to dance music. Rowland was also named as one of world best dressed woman in 2012 by Glamour, and one of ten world's most beautiful woman in 2013 according People.
Other ventures 
In 2011, Rowland was announced as the ambassador and spokesperson for Sean Combs' second fragrance, Empress. She also became a worldwide ambassador for watchmakers company TW Steel later that year. In December 2011, Rowland released her first fitness DVD, Sexy Abs with Kelly Rowland. In June 2012, she teamed up with liquor company Bacardi for a remake of Kate Yanai's single "Bacardi Feeling (Summer Dreamin')", in honor of the company's 150th anniversary. Rowland shot an accompanying music video for the song in Barcelona, which was released on June 17, 2012.
Rowland and the Knowles family founded the Survivor Foundation, a charitable entity set up to provide transitional housing for 2005 Hurricane Katrina victims and storm evacuees in the Houston, Texas area. The Survivor Foundation extended the philanthropic mission of the Knowles-Rowland Center for Youth, a multi-purpose community outreach facility in downtown Houston. Also in 2005, Rowland and Knowles lent their voices to a collaboration with Kitten K. Sera, entitled "All That I'm Lookin for". The song appeared on The Katrina CD album, whose proceeds went to the Recording Artists for Hope organization.
In 2006, Rowland joined other artists such as Pink and Avril Lavigne in ads for so-called empowerment tags for the ALDO Fights AIDS campaign, which went on sale exclusively at ALDO stores and benefited the YouthAIDS initiative. In 2007, Rowland, along with stars such as Jessica Simpson and the cast of Grey's Anatomy autographed pink Goody Ouchless brushes that were made available for auction on eBay, with all proceeds going to Breast Cancer Awareness. In addition, the singer teamed up with Kanye West, Nelly Furtado and Snoop Dogg to design a Nike sneaker for another eBay auction. All proceeds went to AIDS Awareness.
In 2008, Rowland officially became ambassador for MTV's Staying Alive Foundation, which aims to reduce discrimination against HIV and AIDS victims. She has since visited projects in Tanzania and Kenya to promote the charity, and underwent a HIV and AIDS test in Africa to raise awareness of the deadly diseases. In March 2009, she spearheaded a bone marrow drive.
In 2009, Rowland connected with Serve.MTV.com, MTV's platform to connect young people with local volunteerism opportunities, for a series of on-air PSAs. From battling homelessness to beautifying impoverished neighborhoods to saving whales, Rowland was joined by the likes of Cameron Diaz, will.i.am, and Sean Kingston as they discuss causes they volunteer to support, and urge young people to join with their friends in making civil service a part of their lifestyle. Also in 2009, Rowland along with fellow singers Alesha Dixon and Pixie Lott created T-shirts for River Island in aid of the Prince's Trust, profits from which help change young lives. In March 2010, Rowland launched her brand new charity, I Heart My Girlfriends. According to Rowland's official website, the charity focuses on self-esteem, date violence prevention, community service, abstinence, sports, drug and alcohol and smoking avoidance, obesity, disabilities, education and more. On April 26, 2010, she was at Grand Ballroom's "City of Hope — Spirit of Life Awards" for a charity event.
See also 
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