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Kelly Rowland

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Kelly Rowland

Kelly Rowland

Photo by Frederick M. Brown

Kelly Rowland's Early Life:

Kelly Rowland was born February 11, 1981 and spent her early life in Atlanta, Georgia. She began singing at the age of four after hearing the music of Whitney Houston. Kelly Rowland and her mother left an abusive father when she was seven years old. They moved to Houston, Texas a year later. In her new home Kelly Rowland became friends with another aspiring singer named Beyonce Knowles. They were soon part of a rapping and dancing group called Girl's Tyme along with their friend LaTavia Roberson. The group participated in the TV talent show Star Search in 1992 but did not win.

Member of Destiny's Child:

In 1993 Girl's Tyme became Destiny's Child, named after a passage in the Bible's Book of Isaiah. After four years of performing together the group was signed to Columbia Records in 1997. The group's self-titled debut album spawned the top 3 pop hit "No No No," and the follow up The Writing's On the Wall, released in 1999, was a multi-platinum hit and included two #1 hit singles. However, there was strife in the group that resulted in original members LeToya Luckett and LaTavia Roberson filing lawsuits while Destiny's Child became a trio with Michelle Williams filling the third spot along side Kelly Rowland and Beyonce.

Kelly Rowland's Collaborations With Nelly:

In 2002 Kelly Rowland recorded the sung vocals for a collaboration with rapper Nelly on the single "Dilemma." It became a worldwide pop smash peaking at #1 on the pop singles chart in the US and UK. The hit was followed by Kelly Rowland's debut solo album Simply Deep released in late 2002. The album reached #12, was certified gold and included the top 40 pop hit "Stole." In 2010 Kelly Rowland and Nelly collaborated again for the single "Gone" as a sequel to "Dilemma." This time around it was not a significant commercial success.

Destiny's Child Breaks Up:

Destiny's Child recorded a fourth studio album titled Destiny Fulfilled and released it in late 2004. The collection peaked at #2 and was another multi-platinum hit. Two singles, "Lose My Breath" and "Soldier," hit the top 10. However, amid a wide range of solo projects, the group announced their breakup in June of 2005. Kelly Rowland went to work on her next solo release.

'Ms. Kelly':

Kelly Rowland's second studio album was originally to be titled My Story, but instead it was delayed and reworked ultimately being released as Ms. Kelly in June 2007. The collection debuted in the top 10 of the album chart, but it soon lost steam on the charts after failing to generate major hit singles. The single "Work" was a significant success overseas. In 2009 Kelly Rowland severed her relationship with manger Matthew Knowles, Beyonce's father, and the Columbia Records label.

"When Love Takes Over":

One of Kelly Rowland's next projects was recording the vocals for French producer David Guetta's single "When Love Takes Over." Her contributions were praised as classic dance diva vocals, and the single soon became a worldwide smash hit. It reached #1 on the UK pop singles chart as well as topping the dance chart in the US. The success of "When Love Takes Over" inspired Kelly Rowland to record more dance music when she signed with Motown Records. The single "Commander," another collaboration with David Guetta and the first single from her next album Here I Am, rolled to the top of the US dance chart in early 2010 and reached the top 10 on the UK pop singles chart.

Kelly Rowland's US Pop Success:

Kelly Rowland's third studio album Here I Am was originally expected in 2010 but then was delayed until 2011. The single "Motivation" preceded its release. It is a slow burn R&B jam and became her biggest pop hit single in the US as lead artist. "Motivation" peaked inside the pop top 20 and landed at #1 on the R&B chart resulting in platinum certification for sales. Here I Am was released in July 2011 and debuted at #3 on the US album chart, her highest placing yet.

'X Factor':

Following a major judging shakeup for the show's eighth season, Kelly Rowland signed on as one of the judges for the UK's massive hit talent show X Factor. She quickly received acclaim for her energy and emotional engagement on the show. While many critics had expressed concern for the changes on the show, X Factor did not skip a beat in its success with the UK public.

'Talk a Good Game' and 'X Factor USA':

Citing scheduling conflicts, Kelly Rowland left X Factor after just one season as a judge. She returned to the US to work on her fourth studio album Talk a Good Game. In early 2013 she reunited on stage with Beyonce and Michelle Williams at Beyonce's Super Bowl Halftime Show. The trio also released a Destiny's Child compilation album titled Love Songs featuring a new song "Nuclear."

In May Kelly Rowland released the "Dirty Laundry" single detailing with honesty her jealousy over Beyonce and difficulties in an abusive personal relationship. The song was included on the Talk a Good Game album which was released in June and debuted at #4 on the album chart. It was also announced that Kelly Rowland would become a judge on the third season of X Factor USA in the fall. She follows Simon Cowell and Nicole Scherzinger as only the third person to judge the show in both the UK and US.

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