The star seconds Miss Tina's assessment of her girl-group ensembles

By Katherine Richter
Updated January 31, 2017 05:34 PM
George DeSota/Liaison

In January, Miss Tina Lawson dropped a bombshell on the world: She fully knew that the costumes she created for Destiny’s Child in the late ’90s and early ’00s were just a hair over the top. “They looked a little crazy sometimes,” Beyoncé’s mom told the New York Times, “but people always wondered what they were going to wear next.”

Onetime member Kelly Rowland agrees – but says there was a method to Miss Tina’s madness that extended beyond her being the default costumer when, as Beyoncé put it at the CFDA Awards, designers were hesitant to dress “four black, country, curvy girls.”

“The Destiny’s Child costumes were crazy!” Rowland, 35, tells PEOPLE. “She was such a huge part of people being like, what are they going to wear next?”

“She surrounded us with such great women, we understood how important it was to have a sisterhood, to support each other,” Rowland continues. “She was the first woman to show me that.”

Rowland says this early foundation of empowerment in Destiny’s Child has helped her “attach” to a cause near to her: women’s heart health. The Grammy-winning artist has become a crusader for promoting awareness and accessibility to preventive screenings since she lost her mother to heart disease.

Between mothering adorable son, Titan, and preparing for her coaching turn on The Voice Australia, Rowland teamed up with Burlington Stores and WomenHeart to educate women and offer free preventive screenings at a New York store on Tuesday.

“Women have too many other things we need to do at this time than to be losing each other,” Rowland says about heart disease being the leading cause of death in women. “I feel like if I have this knowledge, I’m not just supposed to be on stage with a microphone singing. This platform was given to me for another specific reason.”

And the heart healthy hacks Rowland lives by?

“Meditation, exercise and just making great decisions with food,” Rowland says. “I’m a southern girl, I don’t have a little appetite, so I feel like it’s important to make great decisions.” (Inspired? Women can receive a free heart health exam and screening at select Burlington stores.)

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