“After a very positive meeting between Kelly Rowland and myself, we have amicably agreed to end our professional relationship. My company, Music World, will continue to manage Destiny’s Child as a group. As an artist Kelly has incredible talent and I only wish her the best. We will always be family first and foremost and as a dad I can only have love for Kelly.”
Kelly also released a statement, saying, “Matthew Knowles has been a positive influence in my career. I have had great success under his guidance–both as a member of Destiny’s Child and with my solo projects. Although we have decided to part ways professionally, the Knowles family and the entire Music World Entertainment team will always be my family.”
Many viewed Knowles’ management of Rowland as an ongoing conflict of interest, considering that Knowles is also Beyonce`s father. Rowland’s success as a solo artist is pale in comparison to Beyonce’s, and serves as evidence to those arguments. Her first solo album, “Simply Deep”, was certified Gold in the U.S. and attracted a Grammy win, but the success capped there and majority of the promotion for the album was done overseas. With such a good start, many believed that “Simply Deep” had the potential to go platinum and make Kelly stand out as a solo artist. When promotion all but stopped in the U.S. and started in the U.K., it fueled accusations that Knowles was being grossly negligent and passive managerially and did not push Columbia Records for better marketing. There was speculation that the negligence was purposeful. The rumor mill kept spinning as Rowland’s sophomore effort, Ms. Kelly, was critically acclaimed, but had little to no promotion in the U.S. and was not even certified gold (it was MUCH better than Simply Deep- it was honestly a great record). Again, majority of the promotion was done overseas (Kelly has proven to do quite well in Europe). Knowles also manages the career of the other Destiny’s Child alum, Michelle Williams, who also has had meager success as a solo artist. Williams has since started a career in Broadway theater, having leading roles in “Aida”, “The Color Purple” and “Chicago”. Knowles and Rowland have stressed in subsequent interviews that the split is indeed amicable and there was no tension or animosity involved in the decision.
Fans have expressed excitement and relief on blogs and music sites about Rowland leaving Music World Management, hoping that she will now experience greater successes. Fans have also expressed a hope that the split was conflict-free, as Rowland was raised by Knowles and his wife, Tina, since Kelly was around age 10.
As for my take on this? I AM glad that she has left Music World. However, I’m a little concerned, as she is both manager-less AND label-less (Kelly officially left Columbia Records in March 2009). Hopefully, she’ll get back on her feet fast and whoever she teams up with next will be a perfect fit. She can get a new manager and new label all day, but if they don’t foster success for Kelly, it won’t make much of a difference. I do NOT believe that Mathew Knowles is SOLELY responsible for Kelly’s career stumbles. We have to remember that there are many people involved in building an artist’s career and helping them succeed. The manager is just one part of the puzzle. Columbia Records has just as much responsibility as Mathew Knowles, and to a degree, more power and influence over her career. Mathew Knowles is an employee to Kelly Rowland (hence her being able to relinquish his role as her manager), but Kelly Rowland is (was) an employee of Columbia Records. Let’s keep this in mind. In all, best of luck to my girl.