Kelly Rowland back on The Voice?
THERE was one person in particular who didn't want Kelly Rowland to leave Australia after a few months based in Sydney during her slot on The Voice - even throwing a tantrum.
It was her son Titan, who is about to turn three.
"I said 'Baby, it's time to go back home' and he started wailing," Rowland recalls. "He was thinking about all the friends he made and the places he got to go to. He went to the Sydney Aquarium every week and Taronga Zoo, everyone was so nice and so sweet to him. Everyone spoiled him in Australia. He was so well looked after and that made me feel so comfortable to have him there."
Titan will get another dose of Australia when his mother joins the RNB Fridays line-up next month.
"He's coming for a week, then he has to go back to school," Rowland says.
The national tour, a spin-off of the hit radio brand, features Craig David, Sean Paul, Ne-Yo, Mario, Christina Milian, Monifah and more.
Rowland is particularly excited by playing after Kelis.
"I'm wondering where in her set Kelis is doing Milkshake. I go on after her so I'm excited to get that last minute amp up when I get on stage. Milkshake is one of my favourite songs. It's the song that gets me to the dancefloor.
"It's been quite a few years since I've played in Australia," she adds. "Getting to perform on The Voice with (contestant) Fasika was so much fun, I'd forgot for a second how revved up the crowds in Oz get. Everyone has such great energy. I'm excited to feel that again."
The bill also includes En Vogue, the US female R & B band who hit big in the early 90s with hits Don't Let Go (Love), Hold On, My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It), Free Your Mind and Whatta Man.
A young Rowland joined Destiny's Child in 1993 when En Vogue were still riding high in the charts.
She's thrilled to be sharing a stage with them in 2017.
"I remember watching En Vogue video tapes back in the days, one of my girlfriends went to go and see them live and she said 'This is the hand I shook their hands with' and we all touched her hand. They're magical on stage. They're some of my female musical heroes for sure. If it wasn't for En Vogue Destiny's Child couldn't have come through the door."
Rowland has been sharing her words of girlband wisdom with a female group who Destiny's Child opened doors for - Fifth Harmony.
"I met the four of them, I just wanted to give them words of encouragement other artists gave me. Whether that was to keep going, to stay together or to always communicate with each other Even as simple as take pictures. Everything happens so fast. You need to collect everything. You're travelling everywhere so fast and when you get home you have nothing to show for it. Take pictures, write your experiences down is one of the most beautiful gifts you get - along with singing and travelling all over the world and having incredible fans. Remembering things is important too."
Since returning to the US Rowland has been busy rehearsing her RNB Fridays set.
She launched her solo career with the No. 1 duet Dilemma with rapper Nelly.
Nelly performed the song at RNB Fridays last year; Rowland will sing it this year.
"I've figured out a cool way to do it," she says.
Since then Rowland has had a string of hits - the ballad Stole, funk hit Can't Nobody, Eve duet Like This, carnal radio hit Work, David Guetta collaborations When Love Takes Over and Commander, club hit Down For Whatever and Tinie Tempah duet Invincible.
"The set list has been the hardest part," Rowland admits. "You're thinking 'I want a piece of this in there, I want that song in there'. That's been the challenge. It's been very interesting.
"It's a high tempo set but there's moments where the tempo does drop, that's necessary. My job as a performer is to take people into my heart, I want to share a new piece of me with Australia, take them back to the old school and bringing them to the new."
Rowland means it when she says old school - with a flashback to some of her biggest hits with Destiny's Child.
"I don't want to give away all my secrets, but of course I dip into my DC bag as well. I like to have a good time when I perform and I had a great time performing those Destiny Child songs."
Rowland is working on a fifth solo album, saying "it definitely feels like it'll be out next year."
Her last album, Talk a Good Game, came out in 2013, but Rowland reveals she's "in-between" record labels.
"I'm happy to have some freedom. You can do it yourself now. It's an interesting place to be but it's also expensive when you do it yourself. You need a good distributor for sure, I'd like to have some distribution options on the table."
While Rowland hasn't signed any contracts, she's up for returning to The Voice next year "if it fits into my schedule."
"Everyone honestly made me feel at home in Australia. Whether it was the cafe up the road where I had breakfast or the street markets around the corner or on the beach I felt completely at home. People were very respectful when I was out with my son, they were just cool. I love that about Australia, I always have, I always will."
She's also made a new friend in fellow judge Delta Goodrem - the pair have caught up in LA and are regular text buddies.
"I love Delta. And one of the things I love about Delta the most is how hardcore she is for her country. She was trying to get me to understand different sayings and quotes only Australians would get. At the start of The Voice this guy came up to us once and he was saying all these things and Delta literally had to translate the whole thing for me, I couldn't understand any of it. She wants people to know and love Australia as much as she does. That speaks volumes about her. She's so proud to be Australian, I love that about her."
Rowland is also campaigning for her new friend to break the US market.
"She definitely has what it takes. People are going to absolutely adore her in America."
Rowland was in Australia while her childhood friend, and Destiny's Child bandmate Beyonce had her twins.
However Rowland is tight-lipped about any revelations about her ultra-personal best friend's new family.
"It's not my place to say," she says. "You'd have to have that discussion with Bey."
RNB Fridays plays the Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney on October 12 and 13 and the Brisbane Showgrounds on October 21; tickets from $99.90, frontiertouring.com.