LimeLife Interviews Kelly Rowland: "Kindness Goes Further Than Anything"

by Alex Gambardella • Jan 29, 2010 5:25 AM PST
LimeLife Interviews Kelly Rowland: "Kindness Goes Further Than Anything"

Even as celebrity writers, it's not often we get the chance to talk to a singer with a number-one song that's up for a Grammy next week. "When Love Takes Over" star and former Destiny's Child Kelly Rowland talked with LimeLife's celebrity editor recently at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. When we asked Rowland how she's continued to fare so favorably in her solo career, she opened up in one of our most revealing interviews ever. If you've thought career success was about claiming territory and staring down competition, Kelly Rowland may transform your approach completely. Read on for the full Q&A, courtesy of our friends at LimeLife!

A source close to Rowland, 28, informed us that even four years after Destiny's Child split, she and Beyonce are still best friends. But Rowland's loyal girlfriend spirit doesn't end there: this year she's gearing up to launch I Heart My Girlfriends, a charity for girls that she hopes will inspire women to "not look each other up and down" when they encounter one another. "[Women] can all learn so much from each other," Rowland told us. Here's what she has in mind.

LimeLife: Kelly, the first thing anyone who has ever encountered you says is, "Kelly Rowland is so nice." You were part of one of the most famous girl groups of our time, and now you've got this amazing solo career happening. Can you talk about what being a kind person has done for your career?

Kelly Rowland: Wow... that's such an honor. I think being a kind person -- you think about longevity and you think about treating people... like people. I think that takes you further than any award, any record sales, any tour, anywhere. What if it's somebody's first time meeting you?

LimeLife: Who's a star you've met who inspired that philosophy?

Kelly Rowland: I think about the first time I met Whitney Houston, she was over the moon about meeting me and Beyonce and Michelle [Knowles and Williams were Rowland's partners in Destiny's Child until the group split up in 2006], and I was like, "Oh my god, I want to be kind like her." And when you meet her to this day, she's still the same kind person. Even sending letters, I remember something that Destiny's Child did for her niece and she sent us all personal letters. It's little things like that that mean so much. I just think that kindness goes further than anything.

LimeLife: Would you say you were raised to be nice?

Kelly Rowland: I had great people around me [when I was] growing up as well. I remember my mom and B's mom [she's referring to Beyonce's mother Tina Knowles] would always be on us about that: "What if it's somebody's first time meeting you and you having [an attitude] because you woke up on the wrong side of the bed?!' (laughs) It's always important to treat people with kindness and I'm honored that you say that [about me], because I don't want to be any other way.

LimeLife: And now you're taking kindness a step further to actually help people -- tell us about the charity you're launching to mentor young girls this year.

Kelly Rowland: (smiles and claps her hands excitedly) I Heart My Girlfriends! I'm so excited about it. I feel like everybody has a purpose, and my purpose is I Heart My Girlfriends. My career is one thing, but my purpose on this earth is completely another, faith-wise, for me. When I thought of I Heart My Girlfriends, I remember thinking, "I want women when they meet each other, not to look each other up and down first." When they meet each other, it's about 'Hey, I'm looking you in your eye; I'm confident, you're confident too. And if you're not confident, or if you don't feel as strong, I want to be there to carry you, and I'm learning something from you as well.'

LimeLife: So what do you hope girls will get out of I Heart My Girlfriends?

Kelly Rowland: It's not just about reaching out [to help], because we can all learn so much from each other. Instead of just sizing each other up and saying, "I'm better than you" and being competitive - there's no purpose in that. I want I Heart My Girlfriends to go from generation to generation to generation. I see it as being this huge conference, like once a year, where women like you, and myself, and Serena Williams and Beyonce, and so many different women who have done different things to further themselves along in their careers and their personal lives. I know an extraordinary woman in New York who's a single mother and works hard and has four kids, you know what I mean? These are women who are empowered and can teach the younger kids, like inner city girls so much, and suburban girls. [It's for whoever] just wants a sister and someone they can confide in, just in case they don't have that. My conference would have small seminars in it [covering topics like] health, taking care of your body, and makeup and job interviewing skills. Those are the simple things that girls should know. They [might not] know about the four or five [clothing items] you should have in your closet, or simple makeup things. These are things that could help them...[even] psychology, just everything at once to nurture these girls from the inside out.

LimeLife: We love it, because no matter how old or young you are, we girls don't always know what we're doing -- often especially with guys! It sounds like such a great idea to have a network of sisters to share with and confide in and seek advice from.

Kelly Rowland: Definitely. I'm so excited about it. I've talked to all my girlfriends and they want to be a part of it, and women I admire in the industry... different women -- people who are empowering each other to just be better. I want it to be a big thing.

We want it to be a big thing too. Don't forget to check back with LimeLife for updates on Kelly Rowland's I Heart My Girlfriends charity later this year!

From our friends at Limelife.

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