Kelly Rowland Speaks On Lingering ‘Trauma’ After Sony Ax: ‘One Of The Most Hurtful Moments Of My Life’
From her Destiny’s Child days to her solo era and beyond, Kelly Rowland is reflecting on some of the setbacks she faced throughout her career.
Specifically, the “Kisses Down Low” songstress is dishing on how professional decisions jeopardized her childhood friendships and how her infamous situation with Sony “really did a number.”
Kelly Says The Destiny’s Child Shake-Up Was A “Heartbreaking” Look At “Potential Failure”
The matter arose during a recent sit-down on Yeah, I F*cked That Up. As this podcast is all about having celebrities relay “stories of failure, f*ck-ups, and redemption,” Rowland certainly understood the assignment.
Starting with the earliest days of her career, Kelly acknowledged how “heartbreaking” it was to see her organic childhood friendships be “tainted” by stardom, as LaTavia Roberson and LeToya Luckett were booted from the group in 2000 and replaced with Michelle Williams and — briefly — Farrah Franklin.
Regarding Destiny’s Child’s “transformation,” Kelly confirmed that the shake-up was the group’s “first look at potential failure,” in the words of host Billy Mann.
“It was heartbreaking because you gotta remember, with LeToya and LaTavia, we were friends. Like, I met LaTavia [in] elementary school. She came over to my house, and she heard me singing with Barbies in my closet.”
Kelly summarized the situation by stating, “Here’s a friendship that came together organically being shown to the rest of the world, and then that being tarnished with however everything happened.”
To top everything off, the public nature of Destiny’s Child’s shake-up also took its toll, as she felt as though “everyone was watching the ship go down.”
“That was hard because people also saw it. It was public, and we just wanted to fix it. And it was humiliating, and it did feel like everyone was watching the ship go down. … That was hard, and we were so young.”
Kelly Rowland Acknowledges Sony Trying To “Devalue” Her
While some “tarnished” friendships were a road bump in her Destiny’s Child days, Kelly Rowland also addressed another significant blow she faced once she embarked on a successful solo career.
From making hits like “Dilemma” and “Like This” to killin’ her feature role on Trina‘s “Here We Go,” Kelly put in work as a solo artist in the 2000s.
As a result, she shared that Sony Music Entertainment announcing she would “no longer be recording with Columbia Records as a solo artist” caught her off guard.
“It was the way Sony let me go that really did a number on me. I was really f*cking p*ssed. So mad that I cursed. … I saw it on the internet—it spread like wildfire. It said something like, ‘Kelly Rowland is no longer a viable artist’ or something like that. I was like, ‘What the f**k does that mean?’”
Kelly Rowland also noted that she had been with Sony since she was a teenager and “[doesn’t] remember anyone from the company calling” to express their regrets.
As a result, the ordeal left her in “a trauma space that [she] still need[s] to do some tapping on.”
“I definitely felt like I didn’t have any value. … [They] tried to humiliate me and devalue me, and that did not stick very well.”
She then proclaimed, “It was probably one of the most hurtful moments of my life. For sure.”
Nonetheless, Kelly pointed out that she was glad to see fellow artists stick by her in the aftermath.
“I thought that people wouldn’t wanna work with me. I thought the industry didn’t wanna have anything to do with me. And that wasn’t the case at all.”