The Lifetime docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly” is still sending shockwaves through the music industry from those who’ve worked with R. Kelly in the past to those who’ve avoided working with him altogether. Mathew Knowles, father of Beyoncé and the manager of Destiny’s Child opened up to Metro News about why Destiny’s Child was never allowed to be in the studio with Kelly.
Back in 1998 when Kelly was managed by Sony, Knowles says, “they would almost force you to record with [their] artists.” During a recording session, “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.”
He added, “The girls were 15, 16. When they went to the bathroom, Tina would go with them. They did not leave our eyes.”
Knowles said that he rejected the song because he didn’t like it but also admitted that the “rumors” at the time made him reject it. In August of 1994, Kelly, then 27 was illegally wed to Aaliyah, who was 15. On the marriage certificate however, her age was listed as 18. The marriage was annulled in 1995. Later that year, VIBE published an article with the wedding certificate.
A source told Metro, “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.”
The only time Destiny’s Child is credited with working with Kelly was on “Stimulate Me,” which appeared on the 1999 film Life. However, Kelly was not in the studio when Beyonce, Kelly Rowland, LeToya Luckett and LaTavia Roberson were making the song with Jermaine Dupri. It never appeared on any official Destiny’s Child albums either.
Kelly is currently under investigation in Georgia following the airing of the six-part docuseries. The Cook County DA in Illinois is asking those who have been abused by Kelly to come forward. “In order to have an investigation, we have to have victims and witnesses who are willing to come forward with information. Allegations of domestic violence or sexual assault require someone to say what they’ve seen, heard or experienced.”