Why Kelly Rowland No Longer Manages June’s Diary

When Destiny’s Child member, Kelly Rowland, decided to form her own girl group, fans were excited. Her docu-series, Chasing Destiny, followed the multi-platinum selling singer as she searched for top talent across the country in hopes of finding the next big girl group. Her goal was to pass on the baton of musical experiences she gained from her own time spent in Destiny’s Child. June’s Diary was born and the group began to gain momentum. As time went on, fans noticed that Rowland was not part of the group’s management team anymore. In recent interviews, June’s Diary revealed why Rowland took a step back from the role. 

Kelly Rowland June's Diary
Singer Kelly Rowland with June’s Diary 2016 | Lester Cohen/Getty Images for Epic Records

Kelly Rowland discovers June’s Diary on ‘Chasing Destiny’

Chasing Destiny was a BET docu-series that aired in 2016. The idea was thought of by Rowland, who partnered with famed choreographer and Destiny’s Child former creative director, Frank Gatson. 

Destiny's Child
Destiny’s Child performing | Martin Philbey/Redferns

During an interview with The New York Post, Rowland spoke about why finding a girl group was important  “I felt like there was a void for a girls group in the music industry and this is something that I have wanted to do since Destiny’s Child’s Destiny Fulfilled tour,” she said. “There were so many girl groups back in the day and now there is only one [Fifth Harmony]. I want to show that women can get back to making money together.”

Rowland held auditions in three cities. 600 women auditioned and 15 were selected to compete. Dissatisfied with the level of talent, she made the decision to add an additional five contestants. Rowland chose five singers to be part of the group: Gabrielle “Gabby” Carreiro, Kristal Lyn Smith, Ashly Williams, Brienna DeVlugt and Shyann Roberts. 

Source: YouTube

Interestingly, DeVlugt, Carreiro and Roberts were selected as part of the original 15. Williams was cut during the auditions but was later brought back by Gatson. He also later added Smith after she left a lasting impression on him when Smith worked with Beyonce’ during her 2004 Grammy performance. 

June’s Diary dropped from Epic Records 

While working on their debut album, the group began to do promotional performances to increase their fanbase. They released their first mixtape, Male Edition, performed at the Essence Festival, were opening acts on the XSCAPE Tour, and they also toured with Jussie Smollett on his ‘Sum of My Music Tour.’ 

Source: YouTube

The future seemed bright for the group until they were thrown a curveball. In July 2018, June’s Diary posted a lengthy Instagram post announcing that they were let go from Epic Records. Their statement read, in part:

“Following LA Reid’s departure from Epic Records at the start of 2017, we were released from the label. We’ve faced so many challenges working as independent artists to create music we love, music that inspires us, music that makes us feel, and on our own terms. But all these setbacks have only made us stronger and have brought us closer together.”

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Dear JuneBugs, Wow, we can’t believe its been two years since BET connected the 5 of us. It’s already been such a journey and we are so grateful for all your love and support since Chasing Destiny ended. From releasing our first mixtape ‘Male Edition’ and performing at the Essence Festival to touring with XSCAPE and now supporting Jussie Smollett’s ‘Sum of My Music Tour’, this journey has taken us places we’ve only ever dreamed of. But it hasn’t been easy. Following LA Reid’s departure from Epic Records at the start of 2017, we were released from the label. We’ve faced so many challenges working as independent artists to create music we love, music that inspires us, music that makes us feel, and on our own terms. But all these setbacks have only made us stronger and have brought us closer together. We’ve been working super hard on our debut EP and can’t wait to share our new music with you! Since this is our baby we want to make it perfect for you. Thank you to the Great @kellyrowland Thank You to our musical big brother, Jussie Smollett's imprint Music Of Sound for introducing our EP to the world. We love you Jussie and had a complete blast opening for you this summer and your support has meant the world to us. Our debut EP ‘All Of Us’ is now available! Industry b.s. aside, we believe in music and R&B and this is just the beginning for us. Thank you sooooo much for being patient and riding so hard for us. HUGE shout out to our manager Frank Gatson who’s held us down through thick and thin, even after every “no” and after so many others turned their backs on us. Without him this EP would never see the light of day. We love you and appreciate you all of you! Enjoy. Sincerely yours, June’s Diary

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June’s Diary did not allow being dropped from the label to hold them back. They released their first EP on the same day they announced their departure from Epic Records.

June’s Diary talks feeling abandoned after Kelly Rowland stops managing the group

Though Rowland was a presence in the beginning and worked as the group’s co-manager alongside Gatson, fans noticed that her time with the group was lessening. Fans began to wonder if Rowland was involved with the group at all.

Source: Instagram

During a June 2019 interview on the popular YouTube show, The Terrell Show, the group confirmed that Rowland was no longer part of their management team. The girls credited Rowland’s own solo career as the potential culprit.

“Kelly was trying to put out music prior,” they explained. “I think ‘Chasing Destiny’ really gave her the confidence to just go out there and do it again, work on a album and work on her project.”

Source: Instagram

The group also expressed disappointment that Rowland was not as involved as they expected. They admitted that Rowland’s exit made them stronger as a group and forced them to step out on their own to learn the business and bring out the best in them creatively.

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Take your time ✨ #junesdiaryTYT

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They expanded on Rowland’s departure further in a recent interview with Hollywood Unlocked. Smith and Roberts said they felt “abandoned” by Rowland. Looking back, they realized it was the best thing for them as a group to force them to lean on another. The experience brought the girls closer and they insist Rowland remains supportive from afar. They credit having Gatson as a constant presence and feel that he solidifies their budding success even more.