While rumors of an engagement to manager Tim Witherspoon continue to circulate the Internet, a radiant Kelly Rowland hit the stage Sunday night at the historic Howard Theatre in Washington D.C.
It has been nearly 10 years since Rowland decided to embark on her solo career—relinquishing her role in the last female supergroup, Destiny’s Child. By now, Rowland has learned how to both command and cater to the crowd on her own, leaning on a bevy of hits from her four successful studio albums.
Rowland, 32, began the night strutting her stuff in an altered all-white blazer and black leggings that snuggly hugged her derriere. She sang songs such as “Ice” and “Neva End,” before disrobing and delving into “Dilemma,” her fan favorite, Grammy-winning duet with Nelly. The classic ballad catapulted her solo career in 2002, yet still resonates among attendees like a song released yesterday.
Ms. Kelly kept the momentum moving by leading into “This Is Love” with her own reggae rendition of Bob Marley’s “Is This Love.” She snatched a lucky fan’s cell phone from the front row for a second, belting out the chorus as she twirled gleaming. The hits off her most recent album, Talk A Good Game continued as she sobered the scene with a heartfelt performance of “Dirty Laundry.”
“I don’t know if you know, but I was going through it,” she confessed. “This song is my therapy and the Dream served as my therapist when we made this song together.”
Beginning with “Survivor,” Rowland quickly returned to her cheerful state, as she weaved through a number of Destiny’s Child hits. “Soldier,” “Cater to You” and the rump-wiggling groove “Bootylicious,” reminded onlookers of Rowland’s adolescent accolades and her catalogue of chart-toppers from more than a decade ago.
As Rowland frolicked around with her scantily-clad background dancers, her sex-driven anthems “Kisses Down Low” and “Motivation” appeased guests toward the end of the night. She concluded her visit to the nation’s capital with an adequate, upbeat revival of Whitney Houston’s “Dance With Somebody.” Whitney would’ve loved it.
Kelly Rowland’s Talk A Good Game is in stores and online now. —Christopher Harris