July 09, 2007 12:00 PM

AGE: 26

HOMETOWN: Houston

WHY YOU KNOW HER: Formerly of Destiny’s Child, she has a new solo album, Ms. Kelly, due July 3

• SOUNDTRACK FOR THE SINGLETON

If you just ended a relationship, “this is the album for you,” says Rowland, who co-wrote Ms. Kelly after her 2005 split from then-fiancé Dallas Cowboy Roy Williams. “I was crying and writing,” she says. “I had a lot of word vomit moments. Once I had a lump in my throat, my hand shook, and it was like [sings] ‘still in love with my ex.’ Where did that come from?”

• DESTINY’S TEXT MESSAGES

Of her former bandmates Beyoncé and Michelle Williams, the singer says they chat every other day and “we shoot each other little ‘I love you’ or ‘I miss you’ e-mails all the time … Everybody wants there to be this competitive thing [with them] but I don’t feel like I have to compete.”

• BRIDESMAID MUCH?

The single life can get really lonely, especially when all your pals are getting hitched. “Dude, my best friend is married and another’s engaged,” says Rowland, adding of Beyoncé and Jay-Z, “B is darn near married: She’s been with Jay forever. And I’m going, ‘Okay, just a boyfriend …'”

• FINDING PRINCE CHARMING

She hopes to wed one day, but she’s given up on the castle. “I’m so Cinderella, but freakin’ fairy tales,” she says, “I kinda don’t want to introduce my kids to them. Life is not like that. And they don’t tell you what happens after Cinderella gets married!”

See video of Kelly talking about her new album. Go to PEOPLE.COM/ROWLANDVIDEO

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