Kelly Rowland is set to make her debut as Gladys Knight in the new BET series American Soul. The show, based on the rise of Soul Train and its creator, Don Cornelius, will feature several of today’s biggest stars playing the icons who helped put the influential music program on the map.
Rowland broke down her role for the network.
“Playing Gladys on this series, one, is an honor because she has been in the game for so long,” Rowland shared.
“She still has so much grace, so much class, so much love for music. She still sings like she just started yesterday … she was the first artist to perform on Soul Train.”
The Destiny’s Child member also revealed she will be singing three songs by the icon, “Friendship Train,” “Neither One of Us” and “Midnight Train to Georgia,” and admitted she had some trouble nailing Knight’s signature raspy tone.
“I’m looking at her hands and even the way she moves her mouth when she sings, and I have literally tried to get her rasp as much as I could. I only have a little, but I have screamed outside in a field, I have done this to try to get her raspy voice, I have downed a shot of whiskey to get her voice, it didn’t work,” Rowland said.
Check out Rowland discussing playing the soul legend below.
American Soul will premiere Tuesday, Feb. 5 at 9 p.m. ET on BET.
What's Your Reaction?
Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.