Beyonc’s father, Matthew Knowles said Destiny’s Child stayed away from R. Kelly because they had heard of his reputation back in the late ’90s.
“The girls were 15, 16,” he said. “When they went to the bathroom, Tina would go with them. They did not leave our eyes.”
Reportedly, labels would ask Kelly to write songs for new artists to help them break into the industry, and he made several requests for Destiny’s Child.
They recorded only one song that was written by Kelly (“Stimulate Me”), but without him being in the studio with them at the same time. Knowles also made sure the song, which appeared on the soundtrack for Eddie Murphy’s 1999 film “Life,” never appeared as a Destiny’s Child release.
One of the reasons that alarmed Knowles: “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 said the rumors about Kelly impacted his decisions about the group’s career. And his decisions seemed to serve the group well.
Destiny’s Child went on to sell 60 million records, win two Grammy’s (nominated for 14), and be ranked as one of the most successful music groups of all time.
Apparently, Beyonc took a cue from her father in her solo career, with respect to R. Kelly, and “always turned him down.”
Kelly, in 2008, released a remix of her single, “If I Were a Boy,” and wanted it to become an official remix, but Beyonc said no, again.
Beyonc’s career benefited from collaboration with Jay-Z, who later married her. Questions surrounding Jay-Z’s relationship with Kelly (the two collaborated on the Best of Both Worlds album and tour) have surfaced however.
Damon Dash has recently spoken out saying that he and Jay-Z parted ways because he was upset with Jay-Z for working with Kelly, despite Kelly allegedly sexually assaulting Aaliyah.
John Legend, Chance the Rapper, Lady Gaga, and Keke Palmer have also recently denounced or distanced themselves from Kelly as Chicago and Atlanta prosecutors have called out for victims to come forward, post the Surviving R. Kelly documentary.
Jada Pinkett Smith posted a video questioning why his record sales went up after the documentary and whether or not Black girls’ lives are valued. Spotify, the company that pulled his songs from their playlists in May 2018 in response to #MuteRKelly protests and later rescinded, reported a 16% hike in sales for his song “Ignition”.
Charges have recently been filed against Kelly’s manager for threatening one of the parents of the girls they say was kept by Kelly for years.
Protests have begun in Chicago, where women carrying signs saying MuteRKelly and Protect Our Girls were shouting out the names of girls and “We Love You.”