It’s hard to imagine a time that Destiny’s Child was ever booed while performing but, back in 2001, that’s exactly what happened to them when they performed at Hot 97’s annual Summer Jam.
Kelly Rowland recently appeared on the New York radio station to promote her newest single, “Coffee” where she opened up about the incident.
“It prepared us...around that time Destiny’s Child was crossing over, and because we were crossing over, I think that it was a question if we were still down or Black, you know what I mean?” Rowland told host TT Torez, who then asked how the group felt at that moment to be met with such a negative reaction.
“Before we went out there, it was that overwhelming loud ‘boo’ and we were looking at each other like ‘Are we going to do this, are we going to go out here?’ I saw the look in [Beyonce’s] eyes and I was like ‘If she’s going out there I’m not letting her go out there by herself. I’m going with her.’ It was like a trickle effect and then we were out there,” Rowland recollected.
“I don’t think it was anything anybody could’ve told us at that time,” she continued. “Here we are at the height of our career and we are being praised everywhere except for in our neighborhood.”
She added that the situation helped them grow as artists and develop a “thicker” skin towards the criticism that comes with the territory. “That stage pushed us to grow up so much faster and I’m happy it happened. That wasn’t the last time because we got booed in Philly too,” the “Motivation” singer noted, referring to the R&B group’s infamous halftime performance during the 2001 NBA Finals.
Looking back on the moment now, Rowland felt that some of the animosity was just misplaced frustration over the group’s crossing over from R&B into the mainstream.
“I don’t want to say that the color of our skin was questioned but it was like ‘y'all too popular. Y’all too big for your britches so we got to humble you.’ That was some of it too.”
Listen to the rest of the interview to hear what else Kelly Rowland had to say about her Destiny’s Child days, her latest single, and more.