Kelly Rowland rarely speaks candidly about her lifelong friendship with Destiny’s Child bandmate Beyoncé. But when trying to encourage someone else to live out their full potential, she kept it real on what it’s like to live (and flourish!) in a Queen Bey–size shadow.
The “Coffee” singer, actress, momprenuer and reality TV show coach comforted contestant Chris Sebastian, who was concerned about being outshone by his brother, Australian Idol winner and pop star Guy Sebastian.
“I know this feeling. Can you imagine what it’s like being in a group with Beyoncé?” she said on a recent episode of The Voice Australia while comforting Sebastian. “I would just torture myself in my head.”
Rowland was brutally honest about the impact these experiences had on her mind, her career and her feeling of self-worth.
“I would be lying if I said no, it’s never bothered me. That’s bull,” Rowland admitted. “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.”
Even as she amassed her own hit singles, developed a solo fan base, started acting (and became serious skin care goals), Rowland admitted that she struggled. Being forced to deal with the constant comparisons to her close friend made the star rethink every step she took in her career–even down to her wardrobe.
Rowland said before picking outfits, she would think, 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.
The hit singer suggested Sebastian just be himself because “they’re gonna compare anyway.”
Rowland is hard at work on her forthcoming album, a follow-up to her 2013 release, Talk a Good Game. She told ESSENCE previously why this album has been so hard to create.
“It’s the hardest I’ve been on myself on a record,” the R&B singer admitted. “That’s because it has been so long.”