Never missing an opportunity to speak on his past with Destiny’s Child, Mathew Knowles recently opened up about how he and Tina refused to let the girls work with R. Kelly amid the first wave of rumors and sexual assault allegations.
The 67-year-old, the father of Beyonce and Solange, told us: ‘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.
‘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, when we asked Mathew if the rumours surrounding R Kelly played a role in his decisions from then on, he said ‘certainly, it was both of those things’.
The music manager said: ‘The girls were 15, 16. When they went to the bathroom, Tina would go with them. They did not leave our eyes.’
A source told Metro.co.uk: ‘Record labels would ask R Kelly to write songs for emerging artists as a way to help them break into the industry and he made several requests for Destiny’s Child. Mathew and Tina rejected all of them because they didn’t want him anywhere near the band which is why they are one of the few acts to debut in the 90s without an R Kelly song in its official discography.’
R Kelly worked with Aaliyah on multiple songs including Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number, Back & Forth, and At Your Best, while he also featured on songs with Kelly Price, Sparkle, Nivea and Ciara.
The singer, real name Robert S Kelly, did write one song in Destiny’s Child’s back catalogue – Stimulate Me, which was on the soundtrack for the 1999 Eddie Murphy film Life.
However, a source informed us that Kelly was not in the studio when Beyonce, Kelly Rowland, LeToya Luckett and LaTavia Roberson were recording with producer Jermaine Dupri, adding: ‘Mathew didn’t want it on any official Destiny’s Child’s albums so it didn’t appear.’
Sounds like good parenting to us!