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Kelly Rowland      

R&B Singer, Actress and Member of Destiny's Child

Before being a child of destiny, Kelly Rowland was simply Kelendria Trene Rowland, daughter of Doris Rowland Garrison and Christopher Lovett, born on February 11, 1981, in Atlanta, Georgia. Rowland grew up inspired by Whitney Houston and—like her idol—sang in the church choir. At 7, Rowland's mother left her father due to domestic abuse and moved the family to Houston, Texas. There, Kelly met another budding songstress, Beyoncé Knowles. According to reports, Doris felt it was better for her daughter to live with the Knowles, and Beyoncé's parents Matthew and Tina agreed to provide legal guardianship over Kelly.

In the early '90s, Kelly Rowland and Beyoncé Knowles performed as part of the band Girl's Tyme. The group even competed on the nationally televised talent show Star Search. Although they lost, they continued to perform at local schools, day-care centers and other events around Houston, slowly gaining recognition for their singing and dancing talent. By 1997, the group had signed a record deal with Columbia under the name Destiny's Child, managed by Matthew Knowles.

Over the next few years, Rowland would provide lead and background vocals on three successful albums: Their self-titled full-length debut in 1997, The Writing's on the Wall in 1999 and Survivor in 2001. By the time she was 18, Rowland was a millionaire— a milestone for which she has credited Matthew Knowles.

After releasing Survivor, the group went on hiatus to work on solo projects. In 2002, Rowland released her solo album, Simply Deep, featuring a duet with rapper Nelly, called "Dilemma," which spent two months at the top of the charts. Two years later, Destiny's Child reunited to record their fourth album, Destiny Fulfilled. But, in a surprise announcement during a show in Barcelona, Spain, Rowland announced to 16,000 fans that the band was calling it quits.

On her own again, Rowland released a second solo album in 2007, Ms. Kelly. The album received only moderate success and, two years later, she fired manager Matthew Knowles. Her subsequent solo album, Here I Am, was released through the label Universal Motown, and garnered warm reviews by critics.In 2011, Rowland appeared as a judge on the U.K. televised music competition The X Factor. After one season, however, her $800,000 contract was allowed to expire, and the artist was replaced by former Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger. That same year, the singer attracted media attention after experiencing a wardrobe malfunction during a concert in New Jersey. The singer's chest was exposed for a brief period of time during the mishap.


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SXSW: Kelly Rowland says women need more dark-skinned role models

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