Former Destiny’s Child member Kelly Rowland finally opened up about her difficult relationship with her estranged father of nearly 30 years.
As she was co-hosting alongside Hoda Kotb on NBC Today, Rowland revealed that she finally reunited with her father Christopher Lovett and is looking to rekindle their relationship and find clarity as to why he left during her childhood. The two initially met in 2018, following the death of her mother Doris Rowland Garrison and the birth of her son Titan in 2014.
During a pre-recorded interview, the “Motivation” hitmaker recalled the emotional experience of meeting Lovett for the first time.
“I was angry at him, I was disappointed in him, I had all those feelings of abandonment,” the 41-year-old explained. “I didn’t know why he wasn’t there.”
“I think as a kid you just feel like if they’re not there, they don’t want to be,” she continued. “So that’s what I felt, and that feeling sucked.”
Rowland admitted that for years she held deep-seated resentment towards her father for his absence. She even asked security to stop him from coming backstage as she toured with Destiny’s Child.
“I didn’t want to deal with that at the time. And now that I think about it, I’m like, ‘Ugh. That must have felt terrible,’” she confessed. “Because here he is watching his daughter … and he doesn’t get to be a part of that.”
Lovett, who appeared later in the interview special, said that the rejection from his daughter “was sad,” to which Rowland replied:
“That was me trying to protect myself.”
Despite Rowland’s tough resistance, Lovett shared that he never wanted to stop reaching out to his daughter because he needed her to hear the “other side of the story.”
“Some of the things that other people said (about me) weren’t true,” he said. “And I couldn’t get a chance to see her … and tell her that I love her and I never gave her up.”
During their reunion in Atlanta in 2018, the estranged pair met at a hotel where Rowland recalled feeling mixed emotions as she finally sat down with the man that had been missing from her life for nearly three decades.
“Before I walked in, I had all these thoughts of what I was gonna say. ‘Cause, you know, it was hurt in there, it was disappointment in there, it was curiosity in there. There were so many questions,” she said, but as their conversation grew deeper, the star realized that her father was “doing the best he could with what he had” at the time.
“He’s telling me about his dynamic with his father, and his father’s father, and it’s non-existent, too,” Rowland continued. “So how can one learn how to be something when they weren’t taught?”
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The busy mother of two said she was inspired to re-connect with her father shortly after her mother passed away.
“I said, ‘I really need to know him. I want to meet him,’” Rowland recalled. “I think I … had these feelings of like, ‘Oh my God, I have no parents.’ And it was like, no, you do, you have one left.”
Towards the end of the interview, Rowland encouraged viewers to make amends with their parents, despite how challenging it may be.
“It was four or five years ago when we rekindled our relationship, and it’s never too late,” she added. “Forgiveness is always right there.”
During the show, the singer-turned entrepreneur debuted her new children’s book “Always with You, Always with Me,” which is a lyrical book that working moms can use to stay connected with their children as they head out for the day. The sweet story gives bustling moms a few simple words that they can recite with their kiddos whenever they are missing each other or feeling overwhelmed.
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