Step by step, Kelly Rowland is distancing herself from the forces that helped her achieve music stardom.
Two months after she parted ways with longtime manager Matthew "Beyoncé's dad" Knowles, Columbia Records has announced that Rowland is leaving the label for which she's been recording since her Destiny's Child days.
"Because Columbia Records has been my home base as an artist for more than a decade, the decision to move out on my own required a lot of soul-searching," Rowland said in a statement released Tuesday.
"As a solo artist, I felt the need to explore new directions, new challenges, and new freedoms outside my comfort zone and my friends and family at Columbia have been incredibly understanding about my evolution. I want to thank everyone at Columbia for the love and support they've shown and I will never forget how many good times we've had over the years."
There's no word yet on what direction she's planning to go in, exactly. Rowland cut her first solo album, 2002's Simply Deep, while still a member of Destiny's Child and released a follow-up, Ms. Kelly, in 2007, after the "Survivor" trio had permanently disbanded.
A third album for Columbia is supposedly due out sometime this year. But despite the so-far middling success of her solo efforts, the record company maintains that it didn't dump her.
"It has been a privilege and a pleasure to work with Kelly and we will continue our working relationship with her under the Destiny's Child moniker," Columbia/Epic CEO Rob Stringer said in a statement. "The decision for Kelly to seek other opportunities for her solo career was agreed upon mutually, and any reports to the contrary are false."