Hoda Kotb Breaks Silence on Kelly Rowland ‘Today’ Walkout

Hoda Kotb and Kelly Rowland (Credit: YouTube/NBC)

Hoda Kotb didn’t say what exactly happened, but she did briefly address Kelly Rowland’s abrupt exit from the Today show, reportedly over the size of her dressing room.

During the Tuesday, Feb. 20, episode of Today With Hoda & Jenna, Kotb told the audience there’s no bad blood with the singer and actress.

“I just want to say this: I have great love and admiration for Kelly Rowland,” Kotb said. “I adore her and I want her to come back on our show and I want her to host again.”

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Kotb’s co-host Jenna Bush Hager added, “She is welcome any time!”

“Of course she is!” Kotb replied. “She can share my dressing room. We’ll be in it together.”

“Anyway, I just wanted to say that we love her,” Kotb continued. “We’ve loved her on this show for many, many, many years. And on another note, we want to give a shout-out to Rita Ora, who did a phenomenal job. We have great women on this show.”

The New York Post broke the story last week.

Insiders told the paper Rowland ditched Today on Thursday, Feb. 15, even though she was advertised as co-host of the fourth hour of the morning news show while Jenna Bush Hager took the day off.

Rowland appeared on the 8 a.m. hour of Today that morning to promote her starring role in Netflix’s new Tyler Perry movie Mea Culpa.

But after being shown her dressing room for the hosting gig, she reportedly bailed and left Kotb “scurrying ” to find a new partner.

One insider said Rowland and her team played “musical dressing rooms,” but didn’t find any of the spaces up to their satisfaction.

The “Motivation” singer’s team reportedly asked about a green room upstairs — where guests wait before going on air — because “they didn’t like the one she was in.”

At the time, Jennifer Lopez was in the green room waiting to promote her Amazon film project, This Is Me…Now: A Love Story.

A source told the  Post all of the dressing rooms at Today’s studios in New York City are cramped and described them as “glorified closets.”

Another insider confirmed to People that Rowland’s departure involved her dressing room.

British singer, songwriter, and TV host Rita Ora was scheduled to sit down for an interview on Today, and instead stepped in to fill the void. Ora posted pictures from her Today hosting stint on Instagram and said the opportunity opened up at the very last minute.

“Well, this happened! We had two minutes to prepare ahhh, thank you @hodaandjenna for asking me to co-host the show,” Ora captioned the post. “Everyone was so lovely and kind, I had SO much fun doing it!! Love to everyone that tuned in, maybe we should do more??!!!”

The People insider said about Ora, “Many people at the show, inside and outside of the show, were impressed with how great she was.”

Rowland has not addressed the incident publicly.