Being a member of a team requires equal amounts sacrifice and confidence to reach the common goal that is excellence, a concept that Kelly Rowland knows better than most. A native of Houston, Kelly Rowland got her start in the music biz after joining a group called Girl Tyme, the earliest incarnation of what would come to be Destiny's Child. After a failed stint on Elektra Records, Destiny's Child would finally break through after inking a deal with Columbia Records and releasing their self-titled debut album, the first in a string of platinum-certified albums from the group before going on hiatus in 2002. With Destiny's Child's lead-singer Beyonce being considered the breakout star out of the group primed for solo success, many critics and fans were unsure if Kelly would be able to gain traction in a solo setting, or if she would face a fate similar to many supporting acts and fade into obscurity.

By the time Kelly Rowland's debut album, Simply Deep, arrived in fall 2002, any concerns of her not being able to navigate the waters of the r&b game on her own were quelled, due in large part to her star-turn after appearing on rapper Nelly's chart-topping single, "Dilemma." The buzz around the single would prompt Columbia to move-up the release date for her debut in an attempt to capitalize on the fanfare surrounding Rowland, a move that was risky, but proved to pay off, as Simply Deep would be a domestic and international success, selling more than two million copies worldwide.

Establishing her as a viable solo artist in her own right, Simply Deep would be the beginning of a solo career that has spanned more than a decade and come with a number of hits and accolades along the way. In celebration of the album's 15th anniversary, The Boombox gave Kelly Rowland's debut a spin and picked out five of the best songs on Simply Deep.

  • 5

    "Beyond Imagination"

    Kelly Rowland

    Simply Deep concludes with the album's closing cut, "Beyond Imagination," a track that finds Rowland teaming up with former group-mate Beyonce's younger sister, Solange Knowles. Co-written with Damon Elliott and Romeo Antonio, and co-produced by herself and Elliot, Solange earns what is one of the latter's earliest writing and production credits of her career. Rowland, for her part, puts forth a impassioned vocal performance, her octaves raising in coordination with the instrumentation in perfect synchronicity, resulting in "Beyond Imagination" ranking with the best that Simply Deep has to offer.

  • 4


    Kelly Rowland

    "I wanna love together/Kissing and touching feels better," Kelly Rowland purrs on "Heaven," a selection from the singer's debut album, Simply Deep. Produced by Alonzo Jackson, "Heaven" is an intimate affair on which Rowland gets in tune with her sensuous side, indicative of her transition into an r&b bombshell.

  • 3

    "Can't Nobody"

    Kelly Rowland

    Kelly Rowland delivers an up-tempo banger in the form of her Simply Deep single, "Can't Nobody," which finds her shedding all of her inhibitions while professing her lust and infatuation. Written and produced by Rich Harrison, "Can't Nobody" would be yet another international smash from Kelly Rowland's debut, reaching the top-five in the United Kingdom, as well as the top-twenty in Australia, Denmark, the Netherlands and Ireland.

  • 2

    "Train On a Track"

    Kelly Rowland

    Roaring acoustic guitars make-up the foundation of "Train On a Track," from Kelly Rowland's Simply Deep album. Produced by Rob Fusari and written by Tiaa Wells, Balewa Muhammad, Sylvester Jordan, and Fusari, "Train On a Track" proved to be one of the songs from Simply Deep with the most cross-over potential, peaking within the Top 20 on the UK charts and becoming one of the singer's signature selections.

  • 5


    Kelly Rowland

    Kelly Rowland may have gotten her notoriety by singing about romance and heartbreak, "Stole," a song from her debut album, Simply Deep, is a stark contrast and unexpected change of pace from her previous material. Written and co-produced by Dane Deviller, Sean Hosein and Steve Kipner, "Stole" is a heartfelt composition detailing the story of a suicidal young man who expresses his anger by committing mass murder at his school. In spite of the heavy subject matter, "Stole" was an international hit, reaching the top five in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, and one of Rowland's most successful solo singles to date.

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