Mathew Knowles and his then wife Tina kept a close watch on group Destiny’s Child when they met with singer R. Kelly in 1998.
The group met with the singer, who is at the centre of allegations of sexual abuse from several women, as detailed in Lifetime docuseries Surviving R. Kelly, to discuss a potential collaboration when the girls – Beyonce, Kelly Rowland and then-members LaTavia Roberson and LeToya Luckett – were 15 or 16 years old.
“I was there, and my former wife Tina was there,” the music manager told Metro.co.uk. “When they went to the bathroom, Tina would go with them. They did not leave our eyes.”
R. Kelly, real name Robert S. Kelly, worked with artists including Aaliyah, on Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number, Kelly Price, Sparkle, and Ciara. But despite reported pressure from the singer’s management at Sony, a wary Knowles passed on a collaboration for his up-and-coming group.
“The thing with R. Kelly was, he liked to record late at night, around midnight,” the 67-year-old continued. “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.”
“I personally rejected the song, because I didn’t think it was a good song,’ he said of the track being prepped for the group’s debut album. “Not just because of (his) reputation – this was around 1998, we had just begun to hear some of those things.”
According to editors at Metro.co.uk, a source confirmed Knowles’ account, adding that R. Kelly “made several requests” to work with 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,” the source added.
Beyonce’s dad confirmed “it was both” a combination of R. Kelly’s reputation and the business differences that put him off.
The group did record an R. Kelly song, Stimulate Me, for the soundtrack of 1999 movie Life, but the I Wish singer was not present when it was recorded, and it never appeared on any Destiny’s Child albums. Beyonce has also never worked with R. Kelly in her solo career either.
The Ignition (Remix) vocalist has denied all allegations of sexual misconduct.
– Cover Media0