Beyonce's Father Admits He Kept a Close Watch on Destiny's Child When They Worked with R. Kelly

Matthew Knowles said he the girls did not leave his and then-wife, Tina's, sights.

January 11, 2019

Christopher Polk / Staff

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Beyonce's dad and manager of Destiny's Child, Matthew Knowles, opened up about his experiences dealing with R. Kelly in the music business. 

Knowles told Metro U.K that he rejected an R. Kelly song for Destiny's Child when the girls were working on their first album in the 1990s. 

While he admits the allegations of misconduct were a part of it, he mostly just didn't like the song.

“R. Kelly was managed by Sony, by someone I won’t name, and at that time, they would almost force you to record with [their] artists. And R. Kelly wasn’t cheap – it was $75,000, plus travel costs, so we’re talking $100,000 for a song. I personally rejected the song, because I didn’t think it was a good song. Not just because of [his] reputation – this was around 1998, we had just begun to hear some of those things.”

However, the music manager said that anytime the girls -- Beyonce, Kelly, Michelle, and at the time, Farrah Franklin -- were in the studio with R. Kelly, he and his then-wife, Tina, kept their eyes glued on them.  

“I was there, and my former wife, Tina, was there. The thing with R. Kelly was, he liked to record late at night, around midnight. And what was different with his studio was that one room had a recording suite, and next door was a club, with 40 or 50 people dancing … The girls were 15, 16. When they went to the bathroom, Tina would go with them. They did not leave our eyes.”

R. Kelly's songs never made it on any of the DC albums, but he does have songwriting credits on "Stimulate Me," which was on the soundtrack to the 1999 film, Life. 

Other artists who have spoken out against R. Kelly include John Legend, Keke Palmer, and Lady Gaga, who joined the #MuteRKelly movement by apologizing for and pulling their 2013 collab "Do What You Want" from iTunes.