By Zachary Swickey
Kelly Rowland has been charming fans overseas for the last year as a judge on the UK’s “The X Factor"; however, her days on the panel are unfortunately over, she just confirmed.
Rowland blamed “scheduling issues” and “global commitments” for her exit from Simon Cowell’s hit. The singer released a statement, saying she was unable to find a “workable solution” after discussing it with the show’s producers for a number of weeks.
“I love the UK and being part of the show last year. Mentoring the girls was such an incredible experience I will never forget. I would like to thank Simon for the great opportunity and asking me to be a judge last season,” Rowland said.
Rowland joined the revamped panel in 2011. Danni Minogue (pop star sister of global megastar Kylie Minogue) – who was a judge on the program from 2007-10 – is already rumored as Rowland’s replacement.
After being a dominant force in UK television for several years, “The X Factor” suffered low ratings last year as it slowly shed viewers in the weeks following its season premiere. Likewise, “American Idol” and new hit “The Voice” have created some very strong competition for the US iteration of the program, which didn’t connect with audiences last year and is also on the lookout for a new panel of judges itself.
By Sterling Wong
America and Britain have historically enjoyed a special relationship that was forged by Churchill and Roosevelt during World War II, and this even extends to the realm of music. George Bernard Shaw once famously remarked, “England and America are two countries separated by a common language,” and the language he was referring to could actually be music.
For decades, British acts have found massive success here, including the Beatles, the Spice Girls and Coldplay. In the spring, I wrote about the success of Adele and Mumford and Sons here kicking off a new British invasion. But this special relationship works both ways. Hop across the Atlantic and you’ll notice that there are American artists who’ve managed to find great success that eclipses their achievements here at home. It’s as if the British public was somehow more receptive to their music or has adopted them as de facto countrymen (think Madonna during her Guy Ritchie days). MTV News looks at three American artists who’ve hit in big in the UK.
Ms. Kelly is the best example of a domestic artist who’s struggled a little here, but has found her feet in the UK. Since she’s embarked on her solo career, Kelly has enjoyed some success in the U.S. Her duet with Nelly, “Dilemma,” for example, was a Hot 100 No. 1 hit. However, Kelly’s enjoyed far greater success in the UK, with no less than six top 10 hits there, including Euro-friendly dance tracks like “When Love Takes Over” and “Commander.” Kelly also managed to snag a prestigious spot on the judging panel of this season’s “X Factor” in the UK. With the show averaging 10 million viewers each week, Kelly is sure to see her profile rise further over there.
Meanwhile, her career here is also finally taking off, with “Motivation” becoming a radio hit and the parent album, Here I Am, becoming Kelly’s highest charting album ever. Looks like Kelly’s found a successful bi-continental musical strategy: Go dance-heavy in the UK, and focus on urban, hip-hop grooves over here.
By Danielle Genet
It’s no surprise that the world still misses Destiny’s Child. After all, the post-Destiny’s Child career successes each lady has experienced are a testament to the fan favor the women created. Now, the women who used to work as a harmonious trio (and remain real-life friends) are about to battle it out on the charts.
This past week, Michelle Williams dropped the single “Love Gun,” which is said to be the first single off her forthcoming, still-untitled fourth studio album. Williams, according to her Broadway Playbill biography, was “the first member of the group to explore solo terrain,” focusing on focused on gospel music with Heart to Yours (2002) and Do You Know (2004).
Gospel music came naturally to Williams, who first started singing in church as a child. Williams moved in another direction with the release of her third studio album, 2008’s Unexpected, and its lead single “We Break the Dawn” had a nice run on the Hot Dance Airplays chart. Throughout her music career, Williams has also acted on both television and on stage in Broadway musicals like Aida, The Color Purple and Chicago and, most-recently, in the play What My Husband Doesn’t Know. Williams is also a minority owner of the WNBA team The Sky.