International songstress Kelly Rowland -- an "auntie" to Blue Ivy Carter -- will be honored by Essence magazine Wednesday as part of its Black Women in Music event, just in time for this year's Grammy Awards.
We caught up with Rowland to talk about her fellow females, working for Simon Cowell, new music and of course longtime BFF Beyonce's world-famous newborn.
The former Destiny's Child member has long been a solo star in her own right, with three successful records (her most recent sparking the worldwide David Guetta phenomenon) and a seat on last year's British edition of "The X Factor."
Ministry of Gossip: Essence is celebrating you and longtime music industry exec Sylvia Rhone. Who were the women who inspired you, coming up?
Kelly Rowland: My own mother, for sure. And Beyonce's mother, Tina Knowles. You know we grew up in the hair salon [Tina's, in Houston], myself and Beyonce, and there were so many interesting women there. Art dealers, doctors, lawyers. And look at Sylvia Rhone, she's a legend. She's found so many amazing acts.
MoG: It's ideal when any community is supportive of its own, but music is very competitive. What's the key to stamina as a woman in the business?
KR: Hunger. You know, I still love this after so many years. It's loving what you do, looking for ways to reinvent the wheel. And know that this is a business but also an opportunity.
MoG: You're also performing at Wednesday's event. What's in store?
KR: Plenty! We're going to have fun. I'm gonna take 'em to a Destiny's Child moment, a solo moment. Eve [who collaborated on 2007's "Like This" with Rowland] is going to make an appearance.
MoG: You were a huge hit abroad this year as a judge on "The X Factor" in Britain. That franchise is in the same contract shuffle that the U.S. version is going through. Will you go back?
KR: I know as much as anyone else. Everything is up in the air, but that's the excitement of working with Simon Cowell. He's unpredictable. And the U.K. is just on fire with talent. It's remarkable that people, the country, stays in on Saturday night to watch the show.
MoG: So you're busy with work, but obviously there's been some personal excitement with the arrival of Blue Ivy. How is the family doing?
KR: They're great. I'm just so happy she's here. And beautiful -- such a beautiful baby.
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-- Matt Donnelly
Photo: Kelly Rowland at the BET Honors 2012 in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 14. Credit: Kris Connor / Getty Images