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JOHN HOBBS

Mark May 23 on your calendars! Former Destiny’s Child member Kelly Rowland is headlining Great America’s 10th annual Gay Day.

It’s been nearly two years since Destiny’s Child disbanded—and though we’re still not completely over the break-up, the girls have moved on, each releasing solo projects and becoming the “Independent Women (Part 1)” they sang about in 2000. Beyoncé’s been nearly ubiquitous, most recently making headlines for her wedding to Jay-Z. Michelle went on to put out two gospel albums and returns to form this fall with a new R&B disc. And Kelly Rowland, who was always secretly our favorite, has put out two solo albums—Simply Deep and Ms. Kelly—taken on roles in films such as The Seat Filler and Freddy vs. Jason and made appearances on TV, recently competing in the NBC reality show, Clash of the Choirs. Next month, Rowland joins Alec Mapa, DJ Paul Goodyear, Heklina and thousands of gays and lesbians to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Great America’s Gay Day in Northern California. So make sure your safety belts are pulled tight and that you keep your arms inside the ride at all times, cuz here comes Ms. Kelly!

How did you first get introduced to the gays? Did you have a gay BFF growing up? I didn’t. I wasn’t that lucky. I noticed around the time that a lot of my other girlfriends had gay BFFs that I had already left school; Destiny’s Child was already out on the road. And I didn’t get a chance. Well, I bet there will be lots of gay guys lining up at Gay Day to be your BFF. They are the best BFFs ever! They keep it real with you. I am sure some of your Destiny’s Child fans could get a little insane. What’s the craziest fan interaction you’ve ever had? This one fan had every single article, CD, magazine cover and picture we’ve ever taken—all kinds of stuff—in this big bag and brought it all and was like,“Can you please sign it?” And we were like,“God Dang!”We did sign it all, but it was just amazing that somebody can keep up with you for so long. I would’ve never dreamed that I’d be [this] blessed. It just blows my mind. How has branching off onto your own helped you to grow as a person? I have no one else; it’s just me. It forces you to grow up and I know the girls are only a phone call away, but I think that the growth was necessary for all three of us. I am happy that it took place. I feel like I have grown as a woman. What was scarier: facing down Freddy and Jason or taking on musical great Patti Labelle on Clash of the Choirs? For me, Patti Labelle. Just because I respect her so much and, for me, I knew I had a great choir, but when I heard her choir [laughs]. I was like, “Patti, we’ll be the last two here!” But unfortunately, my choir was the first to go, but I’m not worried about that. I don’t know how Patti Labelle’s choir even lost. Anyways. I love Patti and I admire Patti. One thing I love about her is she’s just real. Speaking of real, you seem so down-to-Earth and cool. What’s one thing you diva out about? Oh ... a bitch fit. That’s what we’ll call it. [Laughs] If my sound isn’t right, I go nuts. Because I work hard in my spare time to sound great when I go up on stage, and my fans deserve the best show. Everybody in my crew knows that if something isn’t right or we’re not prepared, I am going to lose my head. What do you think the secret is to keeping a all-gay audience happy? Great dance music. If you can’t make ‘em dance, then go sit down somewhere. Gay Day at Great America takes place May 23 from 5 p.m.-2 a.m. For more information, go to www.gaydaypga.com.

P H OTO : M I K E R U I Z


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