Having risen to fame as part of top-selling girl group Destiny’s Child alongside Beyonce, singer-songwriter Kelly Rowland has fielded years of questions about or inevitable comparisons to the megastar.
Generally, her response to inquiries about the ‘Renaissance‘ diva are pleasant given the two’s nearly lifelong friendship and public displays of mutual admiration and respect.
That changed recently, however, when Rowland had to put an interviewer in check for saying she plays “second fiddle” to Beyonce – a notion that many (including Kelly) felt undermines the groundbreaking achievements she’s made in her own career.
Look inside to see how it went down.
Kelly called him out to his face & he still didn’t get it. Even, Marsai Martin caught it. Outside of Destiny’s Child, Thee Kelly Rowland is an international superstar, actress, author & businesswoman! She’s been in this industry 25+ years & in 2022 you’re still comparing? 🤦🏾♂️ pic.twitter.com/1n2GjSXwhN
— Jerome Trammel, MBA (@MrJeromeTrammel) November 16, 2022
Hot on the promo trail for her new movie ‘Fantasy Football’ (which also stars Marsai Martin and Omari Hardwick), Kelly stopped by Hot 97 to chat with resident hosts Ebro Darden, Peter Rosenberg, and Laura Stylez about the film ahead of its November 25 premiere on Paramount+.
The interview went south when Rosenburg asked the GRAMMY winner how she fares having played ‘second fiddle’ to Beyonce for most of her career.
“Angie [Martinez] gave you flowers for your ability to play second to Beyonce,” he started before later continuing, “…you happen to be standing next to the brightest light on planet Earth. You think Big Boi from Outkast has it tough being next to Andre , and you’re with Beyoncé. Not only did you not fight it, but it also seems you like you really love the position you were in.”
The interaction referenced in Peter’s quote happened in October and saw Martinez ask Kelly how watching Beyonce’s work ethic impacted her as a performer.
“Her [work ethic] is different. It’s like another whole beast. It’s so funny because her being that focused in that space made me come up in another space that I’m just as excited about,” Kelly said in the Angie interview. “So, I’m like I don’t have to pay attention to that much details. I watch the way she works; it’s so incredibly intricate. It’s something that you’re born with. You either have it, or you don’t, and it’s really dope focus and it’s one of the many reasons that makes her so f*cking dope.”
When it came to Rosenburg, however, Kelly deservedly patted herself on the back.
“Light attracts light, and I am light. So I am a beautiful brown shining light. I don’t think anybody’s light dims anyone else’s,” she said. ”I think that when other people start to compare you, I think that shows how dim they are of themselves.”
Peter continued pushing his point, which pushed Kelly to clap back even harder – slamming “patriarchy” and people who pigeonhole Black people into limited positions.
“[I’m] one of the biggest stars in the world too,” Rowland said. “So, it’s like people only see things one-sided. I don’t like when they put one person in one place. We both shine together.”
Watch the full interview below.