Mathew Knowles, the patriarch behind Beyoncé and Solange, and businessman behind the legendary girl group, Destiny’s Child, is opening up about the group’s 1998 collaboration with controversial singer-songwriter, R.Kelly.
As artists continue to apologize for their past work with the self-proclaimed Pied Piper of R&B and for turning a blind eye to Kelly’s personal issues, including his illegal marriage to an underaged Aaliyah in ’94 and settlement with another underage girl, Knowles says the music industry was different back then. Talent and creativity trumped all.
“In the music industry, we first look at the professional side and not the personal side,” Knowles said. “That’s pretty continuous with the music industry. Right or wrong, that’s factual. I think it’s a number of people that fall into that, they’re not evaluated by their personal business, they’re evaluated by their creative business.”
Although many have come forward to condemn Kelly for his actions, Knowles is not convinced the industry is changing, saying, “I think we’re still an industry that evaluates the professional, first.”
But, when it comes to his girls working with Kelly in ’98, he said he and his then-wife, Tina Knowles, kept an eye on the girls the entire time. However, the song never made the cut for the album.
In the meantime, in regards to Kelly’s alleged predatory behaviors, Knowles brought up the fact that both he and his brother were molested at the age of six, which, according to Knowles is not an excuse for Kelly, but the impact is relevant.
“Does that give him a pass, absolutely not,” Knowles said. “But hopefully those that are listening understand the power of therapy and the need for therapy.”