Kelly Rowland Says She ‘Tortured’ Herself for Years Over Comparisons to Beyoncé

Emily Tannenbaum

Kelly Rowland says she “tortured” herself for years over comparisons to her Destiny's Child bandmate Beyoncé.

During the July 14 episode of The Voice Australia, semifinalist contestant Chris Sebastian shared his fear of being compared to his brother, Guy Sebastion, who won Australian Idol in 2003. 

Rowland, apparently, can relate. "I know this feeling," Rowland, a coach on the show, responded over video chat, per CNN. “Can you imagine what it's like being in a group with Beyoncé?”

Rowland performed with Beyoncé for several years. The two first teamed up for Girl's Tyme in 1990 before signing to Columbia Records as Destiny's Child in 1997. Although you're most likely to remember Michelle Williams as the third member of the iconic group, she actually didn't join the lineup until three years later.

The trio won two Grammys before disbanding in 2006. They temporarily rejoined forces for both Beyoncé's Super Bowl performance in 2013 and her Coachella performance in 2018—or, as we like to call it, Beychella. 

Rowland told Sebastian that she recalls running herself in circles trying to set herself apart from Bey. "I would just torture myself in my head," she said. "Like, I can’t wear this dress because they’re going to say it’s like B. Or, I can’t have a song like that because it sounds too much like B. They’re gonna compare anyways.”

“I would be lying if I said, ‘No, it’s never bothered me.’ That’s bull," she added. "There was a whole decade, if I am being completely honest, a decade where it was like the elephant in the room. It was the thing that would constantly be on my shoulder.”

Rowland worked through some of this pain when she released the song “Dirty Laundry” in 2013. "When my sister was onstage, killing it like a motherfucker, I was in enraged, feeling it like a motherfucker," she sang. "Bird in a cage, you'd never know what I was dealing with. Went our separate ways but I was happy she was killin' it. Bittersweet, she was up, I was down. No lie, I feel good for her, but what do I do now?"

In an interview with Washington radio station 93.9 WKYS, Rowland revealed Beyoncé listened to the track before it was released—and was “proud” of her. “[Beyonce] was just like, ‘I never left,’” Rowland said. “Which was so sweet. It was endearing. She heard how real I was and she was just like, ‘I’m so proud of you.’”

Watch Now: Glamour Video.

Originally Appeared on Glamour

More From