Kelly Rowland Biography

About the R&B singer and member of Destiny's Child

Kelly Rowland
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Kelly Rowland first hit the scene in the late 1990s as a member of Destiny's Child, one of the best-selling girl groups of all time. When the group disbanded in 2005, she pursued a solo career. Though she has spent much of career being compared to former bandmate Beyoncé Knowles, Rowland has proven herself as a versatile artist and she is a star in her own right.

Early Life:

Kelendria Trene "Kelly" Rowland was born on February 11, 1981 in Atlanta.

She became inspired to start singing after listening to Whitney Houston's self-titled debut album in 1985, and she began performing with her church choir. When Rowland was 7 her parents separated and she moved with her mother to Houston.

Rowland befriended another aspiring singer, Beyoncé Knowles, in elementary school. The two formed the group Girl's Tyme with friend LaTavia Roberson. They would practice in backyards and in Beyoncé's mother Tina Knowles' hair salon. Eventually an R&B producer caught wind of the girls and arranged for them to compete on "Star Search." They ended up losing the competition, but they became more motivated than ever.

Beyoncé's father, Mathew Knowles, quit his full-time job and began managing the group. Friend LeToya Luckett was added. They performed as opening acts for established R&B girl groups at the time and auditioned for record labels. They were signed to Elektra Records, but were dropped months later.

When Rowland was 11 the Knowles family became her legal guardians. Rowland's mother was working as a live-in nanny with another family, and they reached a mutual decision that her daughter would live with and be raised by the Knowles family.

Destiny's Child:

In 1993 the girl's renamed themselves Destiny's Child after a passage from the Bible's Book of Isaiah.

They were signed to Columbia Records in 1997, and in 1999 they released their breakthrough album Writing's on the Wall. Soon after, Roberson and Luckett left the group after a highly-publicized dispute when they were replaced by Michelle Williams and Farrah Franklin, unbeknownst to them. Franklin left the group in 2000 and Destiny's Child became a trio.

The group went on to become a huge international success and to date has sold more than 60 million records worldwide. In 2002 they announced a hiatus during which they would pursue solo projects.

Solo Career:

Rowland issued her debut album, Simply Deep, in 2002. Her first taste of solo stardom came when she released the single "Dilemma." The song, a duet with hip-hop artist Nelly, won a Grammy Award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. Simply Deep debuted at No. 12 on the Billboard 200 and at No. 3 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.

Destiny's Child briefly reunited after a three year break and released their final studio album Destiny Fulfilled in 2004. While on tour for the album they announced that they would officially disband once the tour was over.

Rowland issued Ms. Kelly is 2007. It debuted at No. 6 and No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, respectively.

While the album was strengthened by the singles "Like This," "Ghetto" and "Work," it ended up being a mediocre success. Rowland has said that her contract with her label, Columbia Records, dissolved following disappointing album sales.

She signed with Universal Motown Records and released Here I Am in 2011. Its most successful single, "Motivation," which features Lil Wayne, topped the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart for seven straight weeks and was certified double platinum. In 2011 it won Song of the Year at the Soul Train Music Awards, and the following year it won Top R&B Song at the 2012 Billboard Music Awards.

Rowland released her fourth studio album, Talk a Good Game, in 2013. It debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200, making it her third Top Ten album. The album includes appearances from Beyoncé, Michelle Williams, The-Dream, Wiz Khalifa, Pusha T and Kevin Cossom.

She subsequently embarked on the Lights Out Tour with The-Dream to promote the album.

In 2014 she married manager Tim Witherspoon. Later that year she gave birth to the couple's first child, a son named Titan Jewell Witherspoon. She also announced she had begun recording her fifth studio album which encompasses a sound inspired by iconic female singers á la Diana Ross.

Other Ventures:

When she first began her solo career, Rowland branched out into acting an appeared on the television shows "The Hughleys," "Eve" and "American Dreams." She also starred in the 2003 slasher flick "Freddy vs. Jason" and in the 2004 romantic comedy "The Seat Filler." Since then she's served as a judge on "The X Factor UK" and "The X Factor US." In 2012 she starred in the film "Think Like a Man."

Rowland launched I Heart My Girlfriends, a nonprofit organization that seeks to empower and motivate young women by building self-esteem.

Popular Songs:

Discography: