Kelly Rowland Walked Off ‘Today’ Over Awkward Beyoncé Questions, Not Dressing Room Demands | Exclusive

The former Destiny’s Child singer was “offended” by anchor Savannah Guthrie’s prying, TheWrap has learned

Kelly Rowland
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Kelly Rowland’s dramatic walk-off from “Today” on Thursday was in response to Savannah Guthrie’s questions about Beyoncé, not the size of her dressing room, TheWrap has learned. 

Last week, the singer and actress abruptly left the morning news show’s set, with initial reports finding that Rowland was reacting to her dressing room not being “up to par,” leaving host Hoda Kotb to scramble for a last-minute coanchor. Rita Ora, who had been booked as a guest, stepped up as cohost at the last minute.

However, an individual with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap that “Kelly was offended that Savannah repeatedly and aggressively asked her about Beyoncé,” which was the real reason behind the walk-off.

“The story was spun that Kelly didn’t like her dressing room, but she has been on the ‘Today’ show numerous times, she and her team know the dressing room set up. That would not come as a surprise at all,” the individual said. “Kelly was upset about Savannah’s aggressive questioning about Beyoncé. She and her team were not happy and felt disrespected.” 

In the Thursday interview, Guthrie asked, “What do you think about your friend Beyoncé?” prior to Rowland’s exit.

Rowland, who was a member of girl group Destiny’s Child with the “Texas Hold ‘Em” singer, replied, “I’m so proud of her.” 

Guthrie persevered, asking, “I know, but were you surprised and what do you think about it?” — referring to Beyoncé’s new country project, “Act II.”

“I’m so proud of her,” Rowland repeated. “So happy for her.”

Rowland has an agreement ahead of interviews that she won’t be asked about Beyoncé and Destiny’s Child, according to the individual. “She wants to leave that behind,” the person said.

Notably, “Today” does not typically agree to interview topics being off-limits ahead of time. 

Representatives for “Today” and Rowland did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment. But the singer’s rep Yvette Noel-Schure issued a statement to “Entertainment Tonight” on Tuesday, saying, “After 28 years of knowing her, Kelly Rowland remains one of the kindest, most amiable humans I have ever met and have had the blessing to represent.”

A separate individual with knowledge of the situation maintained that Rowland’s exit was in response to her dressing room.

Guthrie was absent from the news desk on Monday’s edition of “Today” — a pre-planned absence to promote her new book, “Mostly What God Does: Reflections on Seeking and Finding His Love Everywhere.” 

On Tuesday’s episode, Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager, who was not present for the Rowland debacle on Thursday, expressed admiration for the singer. 

“I adore her, and I want her to come back on our show, and I want her to host again,” Kotb said, adding, “She can share my dressing room, we’ll be in it together.” 

Watch Rowland’s “Today” interview before it was cut short in the video below.


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