Kelly Rowland’s success as a founding member of Destiny’s Child garners her a forever placement in music history as a member of music’s most beloved girl group.
However, Kelly’s solo career is not one to be glossed over either. It began in the summer of 2002, Nelly released his Nellyville album featuring a little duet you might recall, “Dilemma.” The duet ended up being picked up by radio and shot to the top of the charts where it stayed for 10 weeks, making Kelly the first Destiny’s Child member to have a #1 single. She released her sophomore set, Ms. Kelly, in 2007 to moderate success in the US. However, it generated a huge hit internationally in 2008 with the Freemasons Mix of “Work” that introduced her to the dance music scene.
The next year, in 2009, love took over, and so did Kelly, when she collaborated with David Guetta on the worldwide smash “When Love Takes Over,” fired Mathew Knowles as her manager and left Columbia Records. Kelly became the modern day Donna Summer and the uncrowned, pioneering Queen of vocal Euro-dance-Pop. To this day, she does not receive the due credit that she deserves: Rihanna and others would never have had the dance hits they had if not for Kelly Rowland’s “When Love Takes Over.”
For her third album Kelly decided to go back to her R&B roots, from which she birthed Here I Am and its lead single, “Motivation,” in 2011. With Here I Am, Kelly sought to break free of the Queen B’s shadow. And she succeeded. “Motivation,” helmed by Rico Love and featuring Lil’ Wayne, was a monster hit. It peaked at #1 on the Billboard R&B songs chart where it stayed for nearly the entire summer. The smash hit sold over 2 million downloads and cemented Kelly’s place as an R&B superstar in her own right. Finally, here she was: Kelly Rowland. Not “of Destiny’s Child.” Just Kelly.
She followed up quickly with 2013’s Talk a Good Game, which is by far the best body of work Kelly Rowland has released to date. It is a near-flawless, cohesive collection of quality mid-tempo R&B grooves, ballads, and a few up-tempo bops to boot. She has always been a confessional sort of singer, but on Talk a Good Game she opened up more than ever before, sharing her most guarded truths. In her catalog, the album is unparalleled. For its follow up, fans have been (im)patiently waiting for over six years, but Kelly promises to deliver at the top of 2020. Until then…