Girl Groups Are Nearly Extinct. Could Kelly Rowland Be the One to Save Them?
Let's be real: When it comes to girl groups, there's a massive gap in the market.
Yes, we have our Fifth Harmony. And our Little Mix. And of course, there are dozens of truly fierce female-filled squads reigning in the East, from powerhouse performers like Girls' Generation and 2NE1 in South Korea to Japan's 100+ member (!) AKB48.
But while 5H and Little Mix hold it down for the hashtag-savvy teen crowd and idol groups dominate the K-Pop and J-Pop scenes, there's certainly still room for more.
What about an act on par with the crazy, sexy coolness of TLC or the heaven-sent melodies of Destiny's Child? A tightly choreographed, hair-flipping burlesque troupe like the Pussycat Dolls? The glittering, untouchable pop perfection of Girls Aloud? Dare we say...another Spice Girls? Not in today's pop climate, anyway.
If anything, the pendulum has only swung deeper into all-dude territory within the industry in the past few years, dominated by acts like One Direction, The Vamps, Rixton and 5 Seconds of Summer. Does Twenty One Pilots count? Okay, them too. Hell, even the Backstreet Boys are still going strong decades later. (Thank God for the re-return of All Saints.)
It's been years since a girl group made a culture-shaking debut (#JusticeForParadisoGirls) — but there's a certain Child of Destiny who just might be able to kickstart the movement once again.
Kelly Rowland is one-third — and at some point(s) years ago, one-fourth — of Destiny's Child, one of the most successful girl groups of the 21st century. You might also be familiar with her bandmate, Michelle. Oh right, and Beyoncé.
While the trio show love for each other often, a DC3 reunion doesn't seem to be in the cards anytime soon, which might be why K-Row's decided to take matters into her own hands with Chasing Destiny, a search for the next great girl group premiering on BET on April 5.
Here's the thing: I'm going to watch the hell out of this show. Why? A few reasons. (And no, this isn't a paid post or whatever. It's totally sincere — girl groups are a crucial component to my general wellbeing.)
1.) I trust Kelly Rowland inherently as a person.
As a proud Rowland Stone from the get-go (Simply Deep!), I've always had faith in Kelly's instincts: After all, she recorded "Commander" with David Guetta well before the whole EDM-pop thing fully took over at Top 40 radio.
With her consistently solid streak of solo records and multiple turns as a mentor on both X Factor UK and X Factor USA (not to mention her kisses down low advocacy work), Kelly has never led me astray. She knows what it takes to build an iconic girl group — I have faith.
2.) Reality shows spawn very good girl groups.
Not always, but usually: Danity Kane, Girls Aloud, Little Mix and Fifth Harmony were all crafted right in front of our eyes on reality shows. Also, Girlicious. Thank you, Robin Antin.
3.) The concept isn't (too) hokey.
This show isn't about flooding the lines with votes for your favorite contestants, Idol style — we're just coming along for the ride as viewers.
"We're unveiling the behind-the-scenes of what it's like to nurture a group; to see them develop right before our eyes," Kelly explains in a promo. "It's not Making The Band, it's not any talent competition show that you've seen before. This is the real...the absolute real. It's completely honest."
4.) Frank Gatson Jr. is involved.
Frank Gatson Jr. is a certified industry vet: He's choreographed award-winning music videos and live performances for En Vogue, TLC, Mariah Carey, Usher and Rihanna among many other legendary acts, but his most longstanding relationship is with Destiny's Child — Beyoncé in particular. He's been a part of Queen Bey's solo success from the start, from "Crazy In Love" to "Single Ladies" to The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour. And if Mrs. Carter's kept him around this long, there's no way he's going to accept anything less than perfection.
5.) Blind optimism for a better tomorrow.
Who knows? We might just be days away from watching the next big girl group come together before our eyes. And even if the show doesn't deliver on that promise, we're still getting copious amounts of Kelly Rowland on our screens. It's a win-win, really.
Either way, I'll be watching.
Chasing Destiny debuts on April 5 on BET.
Classic Pop Groups with Member Shake-Ups: