Doris Rowland Garrison, mother of singer-songwriter Kelly Rowland, has passed away at age 66.
“It is with deep sadness that I announce the passing of my mother, Doris Rowland Garrison," Kelly said in a statement to ESSENCE. "She was an incredible soul who made countless sacrifices so that I could become the woman—and now mother—I am today. We humbly appreciate all the love and support and only ask for privacy during this difficult time."
Rowland Garrison suffered a heart attack on Monday, December 1 and passed away early Tuesday morning. Her death comes just a few weeks after her daughter, Kelly, gave birth to her first child, Titan Jewell Weatherspoon.
When Kelly was child, her mother worked as a live-in nanny. After leaving her abusive husband, she and her daughter relocated to Houston, Texas. Rowland Garrison reportedly gave Beyoncé's parents, Tina and Matthew Knowles, legal guardianship over Kelly when she was very young. The friendship that budded between the two girls soon led them to form the group Girls Tyme, and later Destiny's Child. Kelly credits her mother with helping her reach superstardom.
"It was because of your strength and sacrifice that I was able to dream big," Kelly wrote in a 2006 Mother's Day tribute published in ESSENCE Magazine.
Our condolences to Kelly Rowland and her family.