Ms Kelly Breaks Out: Featured in Atlanta Peach & Ocean Drive
EDITORIAL BY ISOUL HARRIS // PHOTOS BY NAVID

With the release of her new album, former Destiny’s Child chanteuse Kelly Rowland steps out of her more famous band-mate’s shadow to become a star in her own right! » One of the sultry voices behind supergroup Destiny’s Child, Kelly Rowland often was overshadowed by band-mate Beyoncé Knowles. But today, the 26-year-old songstress is riding the crest of success with her latest album, Ms. Kelly. On a breezy, mid-May day in New York City, you could close your eyes and almost think you were in Los Angeles. But open them, and you are not in the land of sunshine and silicone. Instead, you see hustle, bustle—and beauty: You are walking next to Kelly Rowland. “I love New York, I should buy a place, as much as I am here,” says one third of the now-defunct Destiny’s Child (and the only one to effortlessly execute choreography in five-inch Jimmy Choo heels). But that part of Rowland’s life is behind her. She is now focused solely on herself. No group drama. No boyfriends. No dating. Well, sort of. “I hate dating!” she says as she slings her Louis Vuitton bag into a booth at Nobu, the sushi playground for the famous and fabulous. “I am dating now, and it’s the worst! You meet their ‘representative’ at first. You don’t really meet them!”

Ms Kelly Breaks Out: Featured in Atlanta Peach & Ocean DriveRowland, 26, speaks with surprising candor for a member of a superfamous group that has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide and has a hit list longer than Pete Doherty’s rap sheet. Guys are probably intimidated to ask her out, but even if they do, she is more than likely to say no. Admittedly, she is not the best at picking men. “All of my relationships have been dysfunctional. I get burned all the time,” she says with a chuckle that adds a little depth to her confession. “I knew exactly how I felt each time, but I chose to ignore it.” A couple of years ago, Rowland announced her engagement to the Dallas Cowboys’ Roy Williams. It seemed that she was going to be the first one in the group to tie the knot. (Some snickered that she was finally going to trump Beyoncé with something.) But after about six months, Rowland showed up at events with a nude ring finger—and other times with it dressed. Then, finally, the curtain fell. The Internet went aflutter with a range of rumors for the cause of the breakup, all of which Rowland can finally laugh at.

“People just make stuff up,” she says. “But I know that we were just not ready to get married. We were too young.” After the relationship ended she was a mess of emotions. Adding insult to injury, she graced the cover of Modern Bride with a smile so bright it could light up a small developing nation. “I felt crazy being on the cover of a wedding magazine, and I was not getting married. My family and friends offered their support and told me to hold my head high, but it was still hard.” Nowadays, when she goes on that occasional date, she knows to listen to her gut. “It’s important to feel [people] out,” Rowland says. “If there is an inkling of something that you don’t feel comfortable with, run like hell. I am not [accepting] that anymore. After a date, I am just telling them, ‘Thank you. It was nice to meet you.’ Or, if they really want to get into it, I will tell them, ‘I’m just not looking for anybody right now.’ It’s a lie, I know. [I’m] just not looking for them to be [my] somebody. I want someone, no matter what he does, that I can have fun with and be myself with and laugh with. I want him to like me for me.”

Editorial by: Isoul H. Harris
Photos by: Navid