Beyonce’s father, Mathew Knowles, believes that his daughter would not have been the superstar that she is if she had darker skin, per Music News.
Mathew, who was also Beyonce’s former manager, got candid in an interview with SiriusXM’s The Clay Cane Show on Wednesday.
“In the music industry, there’s still segregation,” he said.
“Programmers, especially at pop radio, [have] this imagery of what beauty looks like. They wanted that imagery to be the same as singing those records.”
“If you look back, even, like, Whitney Houston, if you look at those photos, how they lightened her to make her look lighter in complexion… there’s a perception, colorism, the lighter that you are, the smarter, the more economically… there’s a perception all around the world about color, even with black folks,” he continued.
When asked about if he thought it would have impacted Beyonce’s success if she were a darker skin tone, he insisted it would have.
“I think it would have affected her success.”
Mathew used Destiny’s Child member Kelly Rowland as an example. The elder Knowles noted that she didn’t sell as many records in America because he felt her darker skin affected her sales, but praised her success overseas in Australia, which did embrace her solo career more.
Beyonce and Kelly’s careers kickstarted when they were a part of the very successful group Destiny’s Child. The trio released five studio albums — Destiny’s Child, The Writing’s On The Wall, Survivor, 8 Days of Christmas, and Destiny Fulfilled— and embarked on three headlining tours. They had been nominated for a total of 14 Grammy Awards and won three. “Say My Name” won the Best R&B Song and Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals in 2001, while the following year, they won Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for “Survivor.”
As for Beyonce’s solo career, she has been going strong since her debut No. 1 album Dangerously In Love. Since then, she has released five more solo studio albums that have topped the charts — B’Day, I Am… Sasha Fierce, 4, Beyonce, and Lemonade. On Spotify, she currently has over 27.5 million listeners. In total, Beyonce has won a total of 23 Grammy Awards. According to the Grammys official website, she is the most nominated female artist in Grammy history.
Kelly’s debut album, Simply Deep, topped the U.K. album charts and achieved two No. 1 singles and a total of nine top 10 singles there. Kelly’s three follow-up albums — Ms. Kelly, Here I Am, and Talk A Good Game — all entered the top 10 on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart. On Spotify, Rowland currently has over 2.5 million listeners.