For more than two decades, Beyoncé has been entertaining the masses, through her acclaimed vocals, videos, and live concerts. However, despite the singer’s overwhelming talent and show-stopping stage presence, her father and former manager, Mathew Knowles, believes her skin tone may have helped catapult her success.
In an interview with “The Clay Cane Show,” Knowles revisited the colorism debate, which came just months after he claimed internalized colorism led him to his ex-wife, Tina Knowles. During the show, he detailed a research study that reportedly found “overwhelmingly” light-skinned black women were more successful than dark-skinned women in music, “especially at Top 40 radio,” according to Variety.
In fact, to back his statement, Knowles listed Alicia Keys, Mariah Carey, Rihanna, and Nicki Minaj, in addition to his own daughter as beneficiaries of the bias.
“In the music industry there’s still segregation,” Knowles explained. “Programmers, especially at pop radio, have this imagery of what beauty looks like. If you look back at even Whitney Houston, if you look at those photos, how they lightened her to make her look lighter-complexioned…Because there’s a perception and a colorism: the lighter that you are, the smarter and more economically (advantaged)…There’s a perception all around the world about color – even with black folks, there’s a perception.”
As he continued, he opened up about how such issues may have affected his daughter’s career, saying, “I think she would have had – I think it would’ve affected her success.” To further prove his point, he cited Kelly Rowland, comparing her level of success to that of her sister-cousin, Bey.
“And I use Kelly Rowland as an example,” Knowles said. “She’s a great example. But you know, the great thing is, Kelly did exceptional outside of America, especially in Australia. Kelly sold over 4 million records. She just got off script.”