Kelly Rowland Says She Acted “Uncool” The First Time She Met Whitney Houston
Whitney Houston’s influence was not just on her fans, but also her musical peers. She was an idol for singers like Brandy and also formed a close relationship and became a mentor to Kelly Rowland. Rowland first met Houston when she was traveling with Destiny’s Child and the chance encounter sparked a lasting and meaningful relationship. Rowland admitted recently that she behaved strangely during her first meeting with Houston because she was so nervous.
Kelly Rowland says her first time meeting Whitney Houston was “uncool”
As Rowland became successful in the music industry, she got the chance to meet and work with many people she was idolized from a distance. One of her lifelong idols was Houston. Rowland spoke of meeting Houston for the first time during her interview on The Mogul Mixtapes podcast. She admitted that the moment was “uncool” because she was such a huge fan and freaked out when she met the singer.
“I had that uncool moment with Whitney, but it’s OK,” she laughed.
Rowland explained that she and her group members were exiting a hotel in LA when they bumped into Houston’s then-husband, Bobby Brown, who was entering into the hotel at the same time. The girls were shocked as Brown recognized them and was excited to meet them – so much so that he revealed Houston was also a huge fan.
“[Bobby said] Oh my gosh, my wife would love to meet y’all, she’s in the lobby come with me,” Rowland says Brown told them.
Rowland was so nervous that she drew a blank, not even realizing that Brown was referring to Houston. Once she came back to Earth, she started panicking.
“I haven’t even met her yet and I can feel my throat closing up and I’m about to cry, and I was like, ‘No, you got this, you got this,’” she said she told herself. “We see her and it’s literally like all this light at one time on her face just comes and I’m like – it’s like angels…I’m sitting there and the girls are just talking to her and saying ‘Oh my gosh we love you but Kelly loves you,’” she said.
But Rowland says she was so shocked that she went deaf for a brief moment and she barely remembers any interaction with Houston from the first meeting. All Rowland recalls is her staring at Houston in awe.
Kelly Rowland was a lifelong fan of Houston and the two developed a close relationship
Though her first meeting with Houston is a blur, Rowland revealed that she and Houston formed a close bond, explaining in a 2019 episode of The Voice that Houston actually gave her a direct number for Rowland to call. Houston was like an aunt to her, and even referred to herself as “Auntie Whitney.” She served as a mentor to Rowland for many years to come.
Like millions of others around the world, Rowland was devastated by Houston’s death as Houston played such an intricate part in Rowland’s decision to become a singer, as well as later being a close friend and confidant in her personal life.
In fact, when Rowland auditioned to be a member of Destiny’s Child, she sang a rendition of Houston’s “I’m Your Baby Tonight.” In an MTV special on Destiny’s Child, Rowland spoke of Houston’s influence.
Rowland later performed several tributes to Houston in the aftermath of her death. Sadly, Houston died on Rowland’s birthday in 2012.