Kelly Rowland does not take questions about Beyoncé or Jay-Z. Even a query seeking confirmation of a report that Rowland babysat Blue Ivy was nixed before we sat down for this interview. So I pared my Beyoncé questions to one, the last question, and it ended the interview. Twitter's @JawnMurray, a CNN and HLN contributor who's launching AlwaysAList.com, explained: "Typically when people ask Kelly Rowland or [fellow Destiny's Child alum] Michelle Williams about Beyoncé, the quotes are either taken out of context by other media outlets, or entire stories are made up about Beyoncé based off of their individual quotes, or other crazy things have happened. As a rule of thumb, they don't discuss her in interviews pertaining their individual careers."
Rowland also didn't play when I asked her to pick a side in the Drake-Chris Brown feud. In more productive exchanges, Rowland was properly mortified to learn her Wikipedia entry is longer than those of two venerable singers. But Rowland's Wiki entry is not, however, longer than Beyoncé's, which runs an astounding 43 pages when printed. That's longer than the bios for cultural icons Oprah (30) and Martin Luther King (34).
Q Is there anything on your Wikipedia page that's inaccurate?
A I think it's pretty accurate.
Q Do you have someone who manages your Wikipedia page?
A I do. But sometimes those people put stuff up there's that kind of off. And I have to call and check 'em on it. They eventually get it done.
Q Singer Patti Austin's Wikipedia entry is six pages long. Ella Fitzgerald's is 12 pages. Your Wiki bio is 23 printed pages.
A Oh my God! Somebody's doing a lot of talking. It's not [possible]. I haven't done that many things. That's hilarious.
Q I guess I shouldn't mention this one (showing the ream of paper on which Jay-Z's 18-page Wiki entry was printed).
A Who's that, Bee? [the woman aka Queen Bee, aka Bey, aka Beyoncé]
Q I was reading an article about you in Ebony and you talked about being afraid of your attractiveness. What does that mean?
A Let me see. [I showed her a copy of the article.] They meant turning 30. It doesn't say I was afraid of my attractiveness. I was afraid of turning 30 but I was fine after it happened. Embracing it, embracing knowledge and being a woman and comfortable in your skin.
Q Somewhere I read that you are financially comfortable for the rest of your life.
A I'm happy. God has definitely blessed me. I think it's important to learn about everything that comes in and all that kind of stuff. Financially it's so important to be just savvy, and I have a team. We all work together. I'm much smarter than I was [about finances].
Q So you don't have a Plan B for when you don't want to sing anymore?
A There are different things that I have started to invest in and things like that.
Q Do you have any advice for a young woman who wants to pursue a career similar to yours?
A Hard work. Focus. I think that it's really important to have passion for this whole entertainment field. Because it's a lot when you first get into it, and sometimes it takes a little while to get everything up and running. If you have passion, if you have heart and drive, if you work hard, nobody can tell you no.
Q You've avoided the pitfalls of partying that have caught up with Lindsay Lohan and Rihanna. Do you perform and go home?
A Sometimes I do but, to be honest, when it comes to going out, if I feel like doing it I do. I think just growing up in the music industry, when I think I was 15 and 16, Destiny's Child had chaperones when we performed and we went home because that was the proper thing to do. We had great parents around us who wanted to make sure we were shielded from all of that. I'm grateful that they did. It just taught us. I just remember hearing someone say, "You're my role model," and taking that really seriously. It was a great weight, but you still take it seriously because there are young people looking at you.
Q You had the kind of parenting, I'm guessing, that wouldn't have tolerated you bullying a school bus monitor the way New York's Karen Klein was by those kids.
A Oh nooo. There would have been a belt involved. [Laughter.] All I had to do was look [as though I was about to do something wrong]. Oh, my momma didn't play that. My momma can look at me like that and [she demonstrated on my startribune.com/video] I'm still scared.
Q Who's your boy in the beef: Drake or Chris Brown?
A Oh, you can't make me choose. The thing is that I love them both. They're incredible artists. I don't think that anyone should have to choose anyway.
Q Beyoncé has blown up. Do you feel in her shadow, like Mary Wilson (or Florence Ballard, Cindy Birdsong) probably did with Diana Ross, or has Beyoncé included you in her success? Sometimes when your friends have really big careers, as most of my friends have, they still include you and you feel a part of theirsuccess ...
[Rowland just smiled with those flawless teeth and waited for her assistant to jump in and say: "I'm sorry, we're not going to answer that." I thanked Rowland for her time.]
A Thank you!
C.J. can be reached at email@example.com and seen on Fox 9.