The manager of Destiny’s Child– Beyonce’s father Mathew Knowles– turned down the former girl group’s opportunity to work with R. Kelly. According to the 67-year-old, Kelly’s reputation and alleged behavior towards young girls was one of the turn offs from the idea of a possible collaboration.
According to an interview with Metro UK, Knowles initially didn’t think one of the songs Kelly wanted to record was right for the “Say My Name” songbirds.
“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,” he said. “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, allegations surrounding Kelly’s behavior were another determining factor, as the girls were still just teenagers.
“The girls were 15, 16. When they went to the bathroom, Tina would go with them. They did not leave our eyes,” Knowles continued. A source reportedly told the site that “Mathew and Tina [Knowles-Lawson]” rejected all of the song requests sent by labels of tracks written by R. Kelly “because they didn’t want him anywhere near the band.”
After more than two decades of allegations regarding sexual misconduct towards young girls and women, criminal investigations against R. Kelly were reportedly launched in Georgia. This comes a few days after a highly-publicized documentary, Surviving R. Kelly, premiered on Lifetime.