It's been a whirlwind summer for Kelly Rowland.
In a recent Entertainment Weekly interview, the former Destiny's Child singer talked candidly about her split from longtime manager Mathew Knowles last year and attempts to jump start her career. He had overseen Rowland's career from the group's beginning in Houston and was the singer's surrogate father.
''That took big-girl shoes, let me tell you,'' Rowland said. ''I needed so much strength and courage. And to be bold. Not just for myself, but for my fans. They deserve the bold Kelly.''
She insists there wasn't one particular incident that prompted the decision; she just felt a change was needed. Soon after she and Knowles parted company, her record label dropped her. She has since signed with Universal Motown and has collaborated with French DJ David Guetta, in an attempt to make herself over as a disco diva. Her latest single, "Commander," was touted as a summer hit but has proved to be more popular in Europe than the United States.
In a recent interview with Britain's Style magazine, Rowland expressed concern that her music is popular on the dance circuit in such centers as Ibiza, Spain, where recreational drugs are a big part of the scene. She was there last summer to promote another hit song, "When Love Takes Over," also a collaboration with Guetta.
"Once, at Pacha (nightclub) in Ibiza, I looked into the crowd and thought, 'That's heavy.' Looking at those people, all completely spaced out, I felt worried for them," she said. "I'm not indulging (in drugs). That is not how I run my business. I love the fact I have control over myself. It's important to always be a lady. People come up to me and say, 'My daughter looks up to you as a role model', and I take that seriously."
Earlier this summer, Mathew Knowles surprised industry observers by releasing a statement that seemed to close the door on a Destiny's Child reunion. ''There are no plans for the group to reunite for a performance or album.... The members remain close, but will not reunite as a group," he said.
Rowland wasn't happy with Knowles' statement and doesn't rule out a reunion "if the fans wanted it to happen." '
She also told Entertainment Weekly that the turmoil that constantly surrounded Destiny's Child never affected her relationship with Beyoncé, whom she calls B.
''We were always civilized. That's what I'm most proud of. From the rumors to the lawsuits to false accusations, it was really tough,'' said Rowland, referring to the legal tussles involving dropped group members LeToya Luckett and LaTavia Robinson. ''We were strong because we had each other. There were times when I couldn't even be strong enough, so I had B. She was the only thing I knew. She was my only friend.'"
Rowland's new CD, called simply Kelly Rowland, comes out Sept. 21. It includes two tunes, the Dr. Luke-produced pop song, "Rose Colored Glasses," and "Grown Woman," that were recently released on iTunes. She is shooting the video for "Grown Woman" this weekend in Los Angeles.
Video of Commander: