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Kelly Rowland graces the cover of Essence Magazine’s September issue and gets real on her insecurities, her new gig and her killer style.

“For a long time I wasn’t happy, but that had nothing to do with Beyoncé. That had to do with me trying to get my life in order and make better decisions for myself,” she admits. “I’m seeing all these wonderful things happen for her and I am happy for her. But I want a path. I want things to pop off for me, too. Not on her level but whatever my level is supposed to be.”

The gorgeous new judge of The X-Factor opened up about finding strength in an unlikely place—the boxing ring.

“I see the beauty in boxing…It teaches me strength, physically but mostly mentally. I had to learn my strength, because for so long I could have been tougher than I was.”

Kelly revealed it took her a long time to find her voice and feel comfortable asserting her own opinions.

“’….cause I didn’t want anybody to judge me. But now I don’t care, Judge me if you want to. And as a matter of fact, it won’t even count, ‘cause the only person who can judge is God.”

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