Whoa. Kelly Rowland said she'd be serving up honesty with her new single "Dirty Laundry," but no one could have guessed she'd be airing etails of the storm she endured after Destiny's Child split -- a situation only worsened by an abusive relationship.
The track opens with a doozy about life post-Survivor -- DC's third studio album -- with Kelly presumably singing of Beyonce: "When my sister was onstage killin' it like a motherf**ker/ I was enraged, feelin' it like a motherf**ker/ Bird in a cage, you would never know what I was dealin' with/ Went our separate ways, but I was happy she was killin' it."
She continues, singing, "Bittersweet/ She was up, I was down/ No lie, I feel good for her but what do I do now?/ Meanwhile, this ni**a putting his hands on me/ swear y'all don’t know the half of this industry."
After one bad episode with the unidentified guy, Kelly sings that "her sister" told her to leave the situation. Kelly says she was mad at everybody, and even years later she was still putting on a good face for the public, and "fooled everybody except myself."
Kelly was lying to her mom, she sings. And in one line, she reveals that her manipulative ex-lover tried to pit her against Beyonce. "He hit the window like it was me, until it shattered/ He pulled me out, he said 'Don’t nobody love you but me/ not yo mama, not your daddy and especially not Bey'/ He turned me, against my sister/ I missed ya."
On the chorus, Kelly sings, "Let's do this laundry, dirty laundry/ When you’re soaked in tears for years, it never airs out..."
It's unclear who the abuser in Kelly's song is, but her former fiance, retired football player Roy Williams, says he's not that guy. He tweeted about the track, writing, "So Kelly has a new song. Called #DirtyLaundry.. & what ever she's saying in it ppl thinks it's me. #wow #imnottheonlypersonshedated #wasntme."
Kelly spoke to Billboard about creating the track, which was produced by The-Dream. "It was very emotional. It took me days to record... I had to get past being so upset and actually sing the song, not sob through it. I always hope that my music can inspire someone, the same way other artists inspire me."
Dream, who'll be co-headlining the Lights Out tour with Kelly, starting May 24, tells Billboard that he pushed Kelly to leave her comfort zone. "What unfolds on TV or on the Internet, it’s never really that. You think it is but it’s just not," he says. "When you have a stage like Kelly has, you should talk about that part of your life. I think Kelly’s way deeper than that."
"Dirty Laundry" will appear on Kelly's new Talk a Good Game album, which is due out June 18.
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