This how Beyoncé walks into a room: transmissions ripple through the air and into headsets of guards and PRs, who toss off clipboards, mutter back into the receiver and scuttle off to their places when in a flash a barricade of arms come into the room, fending off fans and photographers, and in the middle, flanked by a publicist or six, stands the biggest pop star in the world. And she’s smiling.
The most recent of her high-profile arrivals took place last night at The Standard’s Rosé Lounge. (Ha, there’s not actually a new place or anything — despite the name of the location on the tip sheet this big loud place is still just the Boom Boom Room, like any other night, only in this case with unlimited Moët & Chandon.)
On paper, the bash was a celebration for Kelly Rowland and her new album, Here I Am. But all that was unraveled a bit by the appearance of Ms. Rowland’s former Destiny’s Child partner, who has a new album, 4, good enough to merit at least two or three release parties.
Not that there appeared to be bad blood. Ms. Knowles, Ms. Rowland, and Michelle Williams sat together — and hugged a lot! — in the banquette adjacent to the door.
We decided to stop by for a chat.
“You can try, but I’m just saying,” a publicist working that night told The Observer. “You’d have to get through that.”
The “that” was a line of three bodyguards creating an airtight wall at the entrance. We walked back toward the bar.
The Observer had, however, already talked to Ms. Rowland earlier in the evening. We had been corralled into a cramped office space two floors below, packed with assistants and other writers. Ms. Rowland sat next to us on a couch.
“I love the fact that Destiny’s Child inspired so many women,” Ms. Rowland said. “We were just excited about music and just ready to share that with the world, and we did. And that’s a really good feeling, that we changed lives.”
We chatted about her new album, then about our shared love of Boys II Men, then about her dream collaborators.
“Kaaaaan-ye,” Ms. Rowland said in response to the last question.
We don’t expect to be too hard. Mr. West has admitted, in verse, to having been at one point rolling with “some light-skinned girls and some Kelly Rowlands.”
We would see the singer again later in the night, this time with her former Destiny’s Child partners. We walked around to the back entrance of the heavily guarded corner and approached Ms. Rowland, who complimented our shirt and introduced us to the woman across from her.
“Hi,” the woman said, extending her hand for a shake. “I’m Beyoncé.”
At that point one of the bodyguards asked where we worked. We told him. He asked us to leave, and we thanked Ms. Knowles as we walked out.
She kept her place there on the caramel-colored couch for the rest of the night. When Ms. Rowland came to the DJ booth to thank those who came, a huge firecrackers on a celebratory cake placed in front of her, she did it solo. Nearly all the attendees, too, hung by the entrance, hoping to snag another glimpse — or maybe, when she was leaving, they could touch her.
Then Ms. Rowland finished her remarks, and she walked back to join the scrum that surrounded Beyoncé, the oversize candles left sizzling on the cake.