Born: February 11, 1981
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Kelendria Trene Rowland (born February 11, 1981) is an American singer, songwriter, actress and television personality. Rowland rose to fame in the late 1990s as a member of Destiny's Child, one of the world's best-selling girl groups of all time. During their hiatus, Rowland released her debut solo album Simply Deep (2002), which sold 2.5 million copies worldwide and included the number-one single "Dilemma" with Nelly, as well as the UK top-ten singles "Stole" and "Can't Nobody". Rowland also ventured into acting, with guest appearances in television shows and starring roles in successful films, Freddy vs. Jason (2003) and The Seat Filler (2005).
Following the disbandment of Destiny's Child in 2006, she released her second album Ms. Kelly (2007), which produced the international hits "Like This" and "Work". In 2009, Rowland hosted the first season of The Fashion Show, and was featured on David Guetta's number-one dance hit "When Love Takes Over". The song's global success influenced Rowland to explore dance music on her third album Here I Am (2011), which spawned the international top-ten hit "Commander" and the US R&B/Hip-Hop number-one "Motivation". In 2011, she returned to television as a judge on the eighth season of The X Factor UK, and in 2013, became a judge on the third and final season of The X Factor USA. Following the release of Rowland's fourth album Talk a Good Game (2013), she married her manager, Tim Weatherspoon, and gave birth to their son, Titan Jewell Weatherspoon, in 2014. Since then, Rowland has continued her television career by hosting Chasing Destiny in 2016 and starring as a coach on The Voice Australia since 2017.
Throughout her career, Rowland has sold over 30 million records as a solo artist, and a further 60 million records with Destiny's Child. Her work has earned her several awards and nominations, including four Grammy Awards, one Billboard Music Awards, and two Soul Train Music Awards. Rowland has also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame as part of Destiny's Child, and as a solo artist she has been honored by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers and Essence for her contributions to music. In 2014, Fuse ranked Rowland in their "100 Most Award-Winning Artists" list at number 20.Kelendria Trene Rowland was born on February 11, 1981, in Atlanta, Georgia. She is the daughter of Doris Rowland Garrison (December 6, 1947 - December 2, 2014) and Christopher Lovett. Kelly has an older brother named Orlando. When she was six, her mother left her father, who was an abusive alcoholic, and Rowland went with her.  At the age of eight, she relocated to Houston. In 1992, Rowland joined a girl group, originally named Girl's Tyme. Rowland's addition made it a six-member group. West coast R&B producer, Arne Frager, flew to Houston to see them and eventually brought them to his studio, The Plant Recording Studio, in Northern California. As part of efforts to sign Girl's Tyme to a major label record deal, Frager's strategy was to debut them on Star Search, the biggest talent show on national TV at that time. They participated, but lost the competition to Skeleton Crew.
In 1995, Rowland moved in with fellow Destiny's Child member and best friend Beyoncé's family. Not long after the inclusion of Rowland, Beyoncé's father, Mathew, cut the original lineup from six to four with LeToya Luckett joining in 1993. The group continued performing as an opening act for other established R&B groups of the time, such as SWV, Dru Hill and Immature. They auditioned before record labels and were finally signed to Elektra Records, only to be dropped months later, before they could release an album.
Taken from a passage in the Biblical Book of Isaiah, the group changed their name to Destiny's Child in 1993. Together, they performed in local events and, after four years on the road, the group was signed to Columbia Records in late 1997. That same year, Destiny's Child recorded their major label debut song "Killing Time", for the soundtrack to the 1997 film, Men in Black. The following year, the group released their self-titled debut album, spawning hits such as "No, No, No". The album established the group as a viable act in the music industry, amassing moderate sales and winning the group three Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards. The group rose to fame after releasing their multi-platinum second album The Writing's on the Wall in 1999. The album featured some of the group's most widely known songs such as "Bills, Bills, Bills", "Jumpin' Jumpin'" and "Say My Name", which became their most-successful song at the time, and would remain as one of their signature songs. "Say My Name" won Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals and Best R&B Song at the 43rd Annual Grammy Awards. The Writing's on the Wall sold more than 15 million copies worldwide, essentially becoming their breakthrough album.Destiny's Child performing their 2000 hit "Say My Name" during their farewell concert tour, Destiny Fulfilled ... And Lovin' It
Along with their commercial successes, the group became entangled in much-publicized turmoil involving the filing of a lawsuit by Luckett and Roberson for breach of contract. The issue was heightened after Michelle Williams and Farrah Franklin appeared in the video of "Say My Name", implying that Luckett and Roberson had already been replaced. Eventually, Luckett and Roberson left the group. Franklin would eventually fade from the group after five months, as evidenced by her absences during promotional appearances and concerts. She attributed her departure to negative vibes in the group resulting from the departure. After settling on their final lineup, the trio recorded "Independent Women Part I", which appeared on the soundtrack to the 2000 film, Charlie's Angels. It became their best-charting single, topping the Billboard Hot 100 for eleven consecutive weeks. The success cemented the new lineup and skyrocketed them to fame. Later that year, Luckett and Roberson withdrew their case against their now-former bandmates, while maintaining the suit against Mathew, which ended in both sides agreeing to stop public disparaging.
Later that year, while Destiny's Child was completing their third album Survivor, Rowland appeared on the remix of Avant's single "Separated". Survivor, which channeled the turmoil the band underwent, spawned its lead single of the same name, which was a response to the experience. The song went on to win a Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. The themes of "Survivor", however, caused Luckett and Roberson to refile their lawsuit; the proceedings were eventually settled in June 2002. Meanwhile, the album was released in May 2001, debuting at number one on the US Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 663,000 copies sold. To date, Survivor has sold over twelve million copies worldwide, over forty percent of which were sold in the US alone. The album also spawned the number-one hit "Bootylicious". After releasing their remix album This Is the Remix in 2002, the group announced their temporary break-up to pursue solo projects.
In 2002, Rowland was featured on Nelly's single "Dilemma", which won the pair a Grammy Award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. The song became one of the most successful singles of the year, topping many charts worldwide including the United States, where it became Rowland's first number-one single as a solo artist, selling worldwide over 7,6 million copies. Caroline Sullivan of The Guardian wrote that because of the song's success, "Rowland is no longer a mere backing vocalist for Beyoncé".
Rowland's debut solo album, Simply Deep, was released on October 22, 2002 in the US. Featuring production contributions by Mark J. Feist, Big Bert, Rich Harrison, and singers Brandy and Solange Knowles providing background vocals, the album took Rowland's solo work further into an alternative music mixture, which Rowland described as a "weird fusion a little bit of Sade and a little bit of rock." Simply Deep debuted at number 12 on the Billboard 200 and at number three on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, with first-week sales of 77,000 copies sold. It was eventually certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). As of 2013, Simply Deep remains as Rowland's best-selling album in the US, with 602,000 copies sold. Released to an even bigger success in international territories, the album topped the UK Albums Chart and became a gold-seller in Australia, Canada and New Zealand, resulting in worldwide sales total of 2.5 million copies. Simply Deep yielded the international top-ten single "Stole" and the UK top-five single "Can't Nobody". Rowland transitioned into acting in 2002, playing the recurring role of Carly in the fourth season of UPN sitcom The Hughleys. She continued her acting career the following year, with guest roles in UPN sitcom Eve as Cleo, and in NBC drama series American Dreams as Martha Reeves. In August 2003, Rowland made her big screen debut playing the supporting role of Kia Waterson alongside Robert Englund and Monica Keena in the slasher film, Freddy vs. Jason, which grossed $114.5 million at the box office worldwide.Kelly Rowland on the red carpet at MTV Asia Awards 2006 in Bangkok, Thailand.
In July 2005, Rowland starred opposite Duane Martin and Shemar Moore in the romantic comedy The Seat Filler, which grossed $17.9 million worldwide. She played Jhnelle, a pop star who falls for an awards-show seat filler whom she mistakes for a high-profile entertainment attorney. After a three-year hiatus that involved concentration on individual solo projects, Rowland rejoined Beyoncé and Michelle Williams for Destiny's Child's final studio album Destiny Fulfilled, released on November 15, 2004. The album hit number two on the Billboard 200, and spawned the top-five singles "Lose My Breath" and "Soldier", which features T.I. and Lil Wayne. The following year, Destiny's Child embarked on a worldwide concert tour, Destiny Fulfilled ... And Lovin' It. During the last stop of the European tour in Barcelona, Spain on June 11, Rowland announced that they would disband following the North American leg of the tour. Destiny's Child released their first compilation album Number 1's on October 25 in the US, which peaked at number one on the Billboard 200. On March 28, 2006, Destiny's Child accepted a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Rowland and Beyoncé founded the Survivor Foundation, a charitable entity set up to provide transitional housing for victims and storm evacuees in the Houston, Texas area. The Survivor Foundation extended the philanthropic mission of the Knowles-Rowland Center for Youth, a multi-purpose community outreach facility in downtown Houston. Rowland and Beyoncé lent their voices to a collaboration with Kitten Sera, entitled "All That I'm Lookin for". The song appeared on The Katrina CD album, whose proceeds went to the Recording Artists for Hope organization. Rowland returned to television in 2006, playing Tammy Hamilton, in the sixth season of UPN sitcom Girlfriends. Rowland initially hoped her three-episode stint would expand to a larger recurring role, but as the show was moved to The CW Television Network the following year plans for a return eventually went nowhere.
In June 2007, Kelly Rowland embarked on the Ms. Kelly Tour to promote her second solo album Ms. Kelly. The five date tour visited Europe, North America, Africa and Asia. Ms. Kelly was released on July 3, 2007 in the United States. Originally entitled My Story, the album's first version was actually scheduled for a June 2006 release, but Rowland, her management and Columbia Records decided to shelve the album at the last minute to re-work a version with a different vibe as the singer considered the final track listing "too full of midtempos and ballads." Rowland eventually consulted additional producers to collaborate on the album, including Billy Mann, Mysto & Pizzi, Sean Garrett, Scott Storch, and Polow da Don. Upon its release, Ms. Kelly debuted at number six on the Billboard 200, and at number two on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, with first-week sales of 86,000 copies. Outside the US, the album widely failed to reprise the success of Simply Deep, barely reaching the top-forty on the majority of all charts it appeared on, except for the UK, where it opened at number 37.
Ms. Kelly included the UK top-five hit "Like This", featuring Eve, and the international top-ten hit "Work". In July 2007, Rowland released her first DVD entitled BET Presents Kelly Rowland, which celebrates the release Ms. Kelly and features an interview with Rowland about the album's production, footage of her time with Destiny's Child, live performances and music videos. Following the album's lukewarm sales, it was re-released as an extended play entitled, Ms. Kelly: Diva Deluxe, on March 25, 2008. Previously unreleased Bobby Womack cover "Daylight", a collaboration with Travie McCoy, served as the EP's lead single and was a moderate success in the UK.
In 2007, Rowland, along with stars such as Jessica Simpson and the cast of Grey's Anatomy autographed pink Goody Ouchless brushes that were made available for auction on eBay, with all proceeds going to Breast Cancer Awareness. In addition, the singer teamed up with Kanye West, Nelly Furtado and Snoop Dogg to design a Nike sneaker for another eBay auction. All proceeds went to AIDS Awareness. In October 2007, Rowland auditioned for the role of Louise, Carrie Bradshaw's assistant, in the 2008 film adaptation of HBO's comedy series Sex and the City. The part eventually went to Jennifer Hudson. Two months later, Rowland appeared as a choirmaster in the first season of the NBC talent show Clash of the Choirs among other musicians such as Michael Bolton, Patti LaBelle, Nick Lachey, and Blake Shelton. Rowland's choir finished fifth in the competition, and Clash of the Choirs did not return for a second season.Rowland backstage at T4 on the Beach in Weston-Super-Mare, England, July 2008.
In 2008, Rowland officially became ambassador for MTV's Staying Alive Foundation, which aims to reduce stigma against people living with HIV and AIDS. She visited projects in Tanzania and Kenya to promote the charity, and underwent an HIV test in Africa to raise awareness of the disease. In 2009, Rowland connected with Serve.MTV.com, MTV's platform to connect young people with local volunteerism opportunities, for a series of on-air PSAs. From battling homelessness to beautifying impoverished neighborhoods to saving whales, Rowland was joined by the likes of Cameron Diaz, will.i.am, and Sean Kingston as they discuss causes they volunteer to support, and urge young people to join with their friends in making civic service a part of their lifestyle. That same year, she spearheaded a bone marrow drive, and joined fellow singers Alesha Dixon and Pixie Lott to create T-shirts for River Island in aid of the Prince's Trust, profits from which help change young lives.
In January 2009, Rowland ended her professional relationship with Beyoncé's father Mathew Knowles, who had managed her career since she was a member of Destiny's Child. Knowles stressed that no animosity was involved in the decision and acknowledged that Rowland will always be a part of the Knowles family. Then two months later, Rowland announced that she left Columbia Records, adding that she "felt the need to explore new directions, new challenges, and new freedoms outside my comfort zone." In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Rowland stated that the label ended her contract because Ms. Kelly was not commercially successful. She later signed with Universal Motown Records.Rowland performing onstage in England in March 2009.
In April 2009, Rowland was featured on David Guetta's single "When Love Takes Over", which topped many charts in Europe, selling over 5,5 million copies worldwide, and received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Dance Recording. Billboard crowned the song as the number one dance-pop collaboration of all time. In May 2009, Rowland was cast to host the first season of Bravo's reality competition series The Fashion Show alongside Isaac Mizrahi, but was replaced by fashion model Iman in the second season.
In 2010, Kelly Rowland launched I Heart My Girlfriends, a charity that focuses on self-esteem, date violence prevention, community service, abstinence, sports, drugs and alcohol and smoking avoidance, obesity, disabilities, and education. In April 2010, Rowland toured Australia alongside Akon, Pitbull, Sean Paul, Jay Sean, and Eve for the Australian urban festival, Supafest. Later that month, her song "Everywhere You Go", featuring an all-star supergroup of international artists called Rhythm of Africa United, was released as the MTN theme song for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. In October 2010, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) honored Rowland at the second annual ASCAP Presents Women Behind the Music, an event which recognizes women in all areas of the music industry. Rowland's first compilation album, Work: The Best of Kelly Rowland, was released on October 25, 2010 but failed to impact the charts.
In January 2011, Rowland reunited with Nelly on "Gone", a sequel to their successful 2002 collaboration "Dilemma". Upon its release, the song failed to reprise the success of "Dilemma". In April 2011, Rowland appeared on Italian DJ Alex Gaudino's single "What a Feeling", which became another UK top-ten hit. Originally scheduled for release in 2010, Rowland's third studio album Here I Am was released on July 26, 2011 in the United States. The album sold 77,000 copies in its first week and debuted atop the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. Here I Am produced the successful lead single "Commander", which peaked in the top-ten of many charts in Europe, and the UK top-ten single "Down for Whatever". It also included another successful single "Motivation", with Lil Wayne, which topped the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart for seven consecutive weeks and was certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). "Motivation" won Song of the Year at the 2011 Soul Train Music Awards and Top R&B Song at the 2012 Billboard Music Awards, and received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration.Rowland performing in Sydney during Supafest, April 2012
Rowland was the face of Diddy's women's fragrance Empress, the female counterpart to his men's fragrance I Am King. She was also the worldwide ambassador for watchmakers company TW Steel. Rowland's second compilation album, Playlist: the Very Best of Kelly Rowland, was released on October 18, 2011, but failed to impact the charts. She also released her first fitness DVD entitled, Sexy Abs with Kelly Rowland. Later that year, it was confirmed that Rowland would replace Dannii Minogue as a judge for the eighth series of The X Factor UK alongside Louis Walsh, Gary Barlow and Tulisa Contostavlos. Due to a conflicting schedule, Rowland did not return for the ninth series in 2012 and was replaced by Nicole Scherzinger. During the Black Women in Music event held on February 8, 2012, Essence magazine honored Rowland and music executive Sylvia Rhone for their contributions to music. In April 2012, Rowland toured Australia alongside Ludacris, Chris Brown, Trey Songz, T-Pain, Ice Cube, Lupe Fiasco, and Big Sean for the urban festival, Supafest. That same month, she returned to the big screen playing the supporting role of Brenda in the romantic comedy Think Like a Man. The film, which also starred Michael Ealy, Jerry Ferrara, Meagan Good, Regina Hall, and Kevin Hart, topped the US box office and grossed $91.5 million. Rowland recorded "Need a Reason" with Future and Bei Maejor for the Think Like a Man soundtrack.
In June 2012, Rowland became the face of popular rum brand Bacardi. Rowland and German production team Project B reworked the Bacardi song, "Bacardi Feeling (Summer Dreamin')", and released an accompanying music video to help promote the brand. In August 2012, Rowland became a dance master in the first season of the Australian talent show Everybody Dance Now alongside Jason Derulo. The show was cancelled after the fourth episode due to poor ratings.
In January 2013, Destiny's Child released a compilation album entitled Love Songs, a collection of romance-themed songs from their previous albums and newly recorded song "Nuclear". On February 3, 2013, during Beyoncé's performance at the Super Bowl XLVII halftime show, held at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Rowland and Michelle Williams joined her on stage to perform "Bootylicious", "Independent Women" and "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)". On February 24, 2013, Rowland co-hosted the Academy Awards pre-show for the 85th Academy Awards alongside Kristin Chenoweth, Lara Spencer, Robin Roberts and Jess Cagle. In May 2013, it was announced that Rowland would replace Britney Spears as a judge on The X Factor USA for its third and final season, joining Simon Cowell, Demi Lovato and fellow new judge Paulina Rubio. Later that month, Rowland performed as a supporting headlining act at the RiverFest 2013 in Little Rock, Arkansas.Destiny's Child star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Rowland embarked on the Lights Out Tour, a co-headlining tour with The-Dream, to promote her fourth studio album Talk a Good Game. Formerly titled Year of the Woman, the album was released on June 18, 2013 in the US. It is Rowland's first release with Republic Records following Universal Music Group's decision to close Universal Motown and Universal Republic, and reviving Motown Records and Republic Records. Talk a Good Game sold 68,000 copies in its first week and debuted at number four on the Billboard 200, becoming Rowland's third top-ten album in the US. The album's lead single "Kisses Down Low" was a moderate success on the US R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and was certified gold by RIAA for exceeded 500,000 copies sold. The second and final single was "Dirty Laundry". In December 2013, Rowland appeared in Beyoncé's "Grown Woman" music video and alongside Williams in Beyoncé's "Superpower" music video and provided backing vocals on the same track, taken from her self-titled fifth studio album.
In February 2014, Rowland was featured on Joe's single "Love & Sex Part 2". In March 2014, she was named a spokesperson for cosmetic company, Caress. During an interview with HuffPost Live on March 26, 2014, Rowland revealed that she has begun recording her fifth studio album and said the new music, which encompasses horns, drums, and flutes, was influenced by iconic female singers including Diana Ross. Rowland also announced in the interview that she left Republic Records, adding that she "just needed a fresh, new start." In June 2014, Rowland and Beyoncé were featured on Williams' single "Say Yes". The same month, her song "The Game" and its music video appeared on Pepsi's visual album for the 2014 FIFA World Cup titled, Beats of the Beautiful Game. On July 19, 2014, Rowland was featured on Adrian Marcel's song "Honey" from his mixtape Weak After Next and on Beau Vallis's song "Love Stand Still". Rowland also contributed background vocals to the song "You're My Star", the first single released from Tank's 2014 album Stronger.
In August 2015, she was featured on Jacob Whitesides's single "I Know What You Did Last Summer". Rowland was part of the recurring cast of the second season of the American drama television series Empire. She played Leah Walker, Lucious Lyon's mother, in flashbacks and starred in five episodes. She recorded a song for the show called "Mona Lisa" which was included on the EP Empire: Music from "Be True", released on October 21, 2015. On October 26, 2015, Rowland released a new song titled "Dumb" which is rumoured to appear on her upcoming fifth album. Rowland's new record does not have a release date yet.
Rowland along with Missy Elliott, Kelly Clarkson, Zendaya, Janelle Monáe, Lea Michele and Chloe & Halle, were all featured on a charity single put together by US First Lady Michelle Obama. "This Is For My Girls" was written by Diane Warren and was released on March 15, 2016. The song was created to raise funds and awareness towards Obama's Let Girls Learn initiative - aimed at boosting education rates amongst adolescent girls around the world who are denied the right to an education. The iTunes-exclusive record was used to both coincide with Obama's Texan SXSW speech and to promote the "Let Girls Learn" initiative. The following month, Rowland hosted BET's docu-series Chasing Destiny, where she and choreographer/director Frank Gatson Jr. searched to find the next superstars for an all female group. They eventually formed the girl group June's Diary.
On 24 December 2016, it was announced that Rowland would replace Jessie J as a coach on the sixth season of The Voice Australia, that aired in early 2017. Rowland played the role of Margot Scotts in the television film Love By the 10th Date, which premiered on Lifetime on January 28, 2017. On 11 April 2017, Kelly is also set to release her first book named Whoa, Baby!: A Guide for New Moms Who Feel Overwhelmed and Freaked Out (and Wonder What the #*$& Just Happened). On 8 August 2017, it was announced that Rowland was joining new judge Jennifer Hudson on the thirteenth season of The Voice US who served as the winning coach on last season’s The Voice UK. Hudson supported Rowland, a coach on the Australian version, as her advisor. In April 2018, Rowland reunited with Beyonce Knowles and Michelle Williams during Knowles' headlining set at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. in the seventh season of The Voice Australia she became the winning coach with two of her acts Sam Perry and Bella Paige became the top 2 with Sam Perry as the winner and Bella Paige as the runner-up.
Rowland and her manager Tim Weatherspoon reportedly began dating in 2011. She announced her engagement to Weatherspoon during an appearance on The Queen Latifah Show on December 16, 2013. They were married in Costa Rica on May 9, 2014, with guests including Beyoncé and Solange. On June 10, 2014, Rowland announced via Instagram that she and Weatherspoon were expecting their first child. On November 4, 2014, Rowland gave birth to their son Titan Jewell Weatherspoon.
|"Commander" (2010) A 19-second sample of "Commander". Rowland has stated that meeting David Guetta inspired her to record dance music.|
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Rowland's voice is classified as a three-octave lyric mezzo-soprano, and her music includes various styles of musical genres such as contemporary R&B, pop, hip hop, soul, rock and dance. Her debut solo album Simply Deep (2002) followed an adult-alternative rock sound, while her second album Ms. Kelly (2007) featured an urban sound. In an interview with The Independent, Rowland admitted that with her first two albums she struggled to find her sound. "I was in a stage with the first two records where I was searching and I was like, let me try a rock-dance approach, the label wanted me to try it and I did it ... And then after that came a more urban approach with Ms. Kelly in 2007." Her third album Here I Am (2011) consisted of a pop and R&B sound, with subtle influences of dance. Rowland stated that meeting David Guetta had influenced her to record dance music. During production of the album, Rowland stated that part of the reason for the new sound on Here I Am was wanting to do something different, saying "I knew I couldn't be afraid of this direction, and I wasn't going to let the thoughts and opinions of others make me afraid to go in this direction".
Most of the lyrical themes in Simply Deep (2002) speak of love and life experiences, particularly in the songs "Dilemma", in which Rowland expresses her endless love to her love interest, and "Stole", in which she sings about an emotional "tale of school shootings and suicides". In Ms. Kelly (2007), Rowland covers topics such as her "deeply personal relationship issues" in her songs, "Still in Love with My Ex", "Flashback", "Love", "Better Without You" and "Gotsta Go (Part I)". Alex Macpherson of The Guardian noted that the songs could be about Rowland's former relationship with American football player Roy Williams. Here I Am (2011) included common themes of womanhood, sexual intimacy and love. Some of Rowland's other songs such as "Work", "I'm Dat Chick" and "Work It Man" have been musically compared to the work of former Destiny's Child bandmate Beyoncé.
Rowland has cited Whitney Houston and Janet Jackson as her biggest musical influences. She stated that Houston "was the woman that inspired me to sing". Rowland is also inspired by Sade Adu and says that "she has a style that's totally her own". Her other inspirations include Destiny's Child, Martin Luther King, Jr., Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Naomi Campbell, and Oprah Winfrey, whom she describes as "the female version of God". Rowland has discussed how living in Miami has influenced her style, growth, and music. From a fashion perspective, Rowland credits her grandmother, Halle Berry, Jennifer Lopez, Beyoncé, and Oprah as her style icons. Rowland cited Whitney Houston, Beyoncé, and Brandy as vocal inspirations for her second solo album Ms. Kelly, "I love how different they are. I love how they take themselves to the next level". Her third solo album Here I Am was inspired by Donna Summer and Diana Ross, as well as dance producers David Guetta and will.i.am. Rowland's fourth solo album Talk a Good Game was also inspired by Houston, Marvin Gaye, and Stevie Wonder.
Rowland stated that there was a time in her life when she struggled about being dark-skinned. In October 2007, Rowland underwent plastic surgery to receive breast implants. She stated, "I simply went from an A-cup to a B-cup" and that "the decision was 10 years in the making". In 2012, Rowland ranked at number 61 on Complex magazine's list of "The 100 Hottest Female Singers of All Time" and was recognized as one of the best-dressed women by Glamour UK. In April 2013, Rowland ranked seventh on People's Most Beautiful in the World list.
Kelly Rowland supports the following charitable causes: Children, Obesity/Weight Loss, Underprivileged Children.