For the past few weeks Kelly Rowland’s quest to assemble a girl group has unfolded on her BET docs series “Chasing Destiny.”
Rowland, who broke records and topped the charts in Destiny’s Child alongside Beyonce and Michelle Williams, has completely eschewed the typical talent competition format with her series.
There is no juicy drama, no humiliating eliminations. “I don’t want reality stars; I want stars,” Rowland said in the premiere episode.
Instead, Rowland’s show focuses on the singer and famed choreographer and creative director Frank Gatson Jr. cultivating talent they found through submissions and open calls, discovered on social media or knew from the industry.
The show is heavy on nurturing and uplifting, even if they don’t progress. (In the case of one eliminated hopeful, Rowland assured her she would develop her later.) It’s made for a refreshing yet addictive watch.
On Tuesday’s episode, Rowland unveiled the five-member group: Brienna DeVlugt, Ashly Williams, Kristal Lyndriette, Shyann Roberts and Gabrielle Carreiro. Two of the women are locals, with Carreiro growing up in Glendale and Williams hailing from Compton. And Lyndriette is a familiar face, having been part of the promising, but short-lived R&B group RichGirl (they even toured with Beyonce once).
The still unnamed group is making the press rounds now, and its cover of Drake’s “Hotline Bling” is already gaining steam online.
It’s an a cappella offering with a sweet harmony that delivers some serious nostalgia for the bygone era of R&B girl groups like SWV, Brownstone, En Vogue and, yes, Destiny’s Child that Rowland is attempting to recreate.
Judging from what we've heard, Rowland just might be on to something.
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