Kelly Rowland has confirmed what many Destiny’s Child fans suspected for years - it’s not easy living in Beyoncé’s shadow.
On her new song “Dirty Laundry,” Rowland opens up about being jealous of Beyoncé’s success.
“While my sister was on stage, killing it like a mother-cker, I was enraged, feeling it like a mother-cker,” she sings. “Bittersweet, she was up, I was down. No lie, I feel good for her, but what do I do now?”
According to Billboard magazine, Rowland is referring to a period after the release of her 2002 solo debut “Simply Deep.” Beyoncé released her first solo album, “Dangerously in Love,” in May 2003.
Aside from Beyoncé being the front woman of Destiny’s Child, her solo career immediately took off with a No. 1 album and single as Rowland’s records only found moderate success.
To make matters worse for Rowland, as things were going well for Beyoncé she was having personal problems.
Warning: Song contains explicit lyrics
“Forget the records, off the record, I was going through some bullsh-t,” she sings. “Post-‘Survivor,’ she on fire, who wanna hear my bullsh-t?”
The problem Rowland was referring to was a nameless abusive ex. She describes to herself as battered and sings that he told her that no one loved her and turned her against Beyoncé.
In the song, Rowland thanks her “sister” for encouraging her to leave. She said they made up and, in hindsight, she admits, “Kinda lucky, I was in her shadow.”
Rowland told Billboard that it was difficult to record the song. “It was very emotional,” she said. “It took me days to record. I had to get past being so upset and actually sing the song, not sob through it. I always hope that my music can inspire someone, the same way other artists inspire me.”
The-Dream, who wrote and produced the song, said he had to push Rowland to show a more personal side. “What unfolds on TV or on the Internet, it’s never really that,” he told Billboard. “You think it is but it’s just not. When you have a stage like Kelly has, you should talk about that part of your life. I think Kelly’s way deeper than that.”
In a post on Twitter Wednesday, Roy Williams, Rowland’s former fiancée, said he is not the violent boyfriend she is singing about. “So Kelly has a new song. Called #DirtyLaundry.. & what ever she’s saying in it ppl thinks it’s me. #wow #imnottheonlypersonshedated #wasntme,” he wrote.
Rowland's fourth studio album, "Talk a Good Game," is due out on June 18.