Today’s “Forgot About Friday” post honoring the “almost there, but not quite” solo career of Kelly Rowland begins with a little story. The other day, I was deep in my music vault when I came across a CD called ‘Kelly Rowland:Forever and a Day-A Mixtape.’ (if that’s not foreshadowing, I don’t know what is) On this scrumptious 18 track set, there were moments of R&B, dance, pop, but most of all, there were all moments of pure Ms. Kelly. Reveling in this immaculate set, I thought to myself, “Should I feature her on FAF?” (I mean, Mya, she ain’t. ) Really, how can anybody ever forget Kelly Rowland, she brought us “Stole” and “Commander” for fuck’s sake. However, while she does have several tracks that none of us will never forget, she’s also had so many recorded tracks that may have never gotten the chance up to bump in your headphones. So, I think it’s time to head to V.I.P to be the boss and dive into today’s “Forgot-About-Friday,” and sort out all the musical makings of Ms. Kelly Rowland.
For those of you don’t know (if you don’t, BIG sigh), Kelly Rowland was the Destiny’s Child member that Beyonce actually liked, and she was with the superstar R&B girl group from the late-’90s all the way to their demise in ’05. She got her first taste of “solo stardom” in the summer of ’02, appearing on the Nelly track, “Dilemma,” which topped the Billboard charts for a whopping ten weeks. Following the success of her Nelly collabo, she released her debut set, ‘Simply Deep,’ which featured lead single “Stole” (as well as the delightful chart bomb, “Can’t Nobody”), and it looked like Ms. Kelly Kel was well on her way to a successful solo journey. Not so fast. While the album did do considerately well on the charts, selling 2.5 million copies worldwide, it didn’t exactly launch Ms. Rowland into the solo stratosphere, and soon she would rejoin Beyonce and the insatiable Michelle Williams for the final Destiny’s Child set, ‘Destiny Fulfilled.’ (Which in my ears, certainly wasn’t.)
After the gals went their separate ways (and Michelle went…somewhere.), Kelly emerged again, this time with Trina (#soon) on her hit single, “Here We Go,” and soon Kelly would deliver her second solo set, ‘Ms. Kelly,’ which was leather-and-laced with grooves, “Like This,” “Ghetto” and “Work.” While the album did moderately well, it still didn’t deliver that punch that would take Kelly to the level of solo diva….however…..
Things for Kelly took a disco-lightful turn in ’10 when she realized that she just had THAT voice that could not only be featured on a lights-out baby makin’ groove, but one that could destroy a dance floor as well. Our girl would soon link up with superstar DJ David Guetta, appearing on worldwide (except here) smash singles, “When Love Takes Over,” “It’s The Way You Love Me” and the commanding, “Commander.” She even headphone hopped to DJ Alex Guadino, appearing on his incredible anthem, “What a Feeling.” Personally speaking, it’s a shame that dance music isn’t flourishing on mainstream radio here in the states, because if that was the case, Kelly would be on chart fire, maybe even having a bigger solo career than you-know- who…
Kelly followed suite with two more R&B laced albums (‘Here I Am’ and ‘Talk a Good Game’), but still, there just wasn’t enough heat on them for our girl to break into that next level chart game. (Except for “Motivation”…always enough. ) Listen, at the end of the day, “FAF” isn’t always music shade, it’s also served up as a reminder for people that there are some artists who truly do get to that “almost there, but not quite” level and truly deliver an impressive catalog of almost hits that need to be celebrated. I tried to post as much music as I could below, so dive in and never forget that Ms. Kelly has delivered quite an impressive catalog of smashes through the years. Warm up with with a fun track that I bet you guys haven’t heard before called “Summer Dreaming.” Sigh…..
“It’s The Way You Love Me”
“Here We Go”
“When Love Takes Over”
“Without Me” (w/ Fantasia & Missy)