Mathew Knowles, Beyoncé’s father and founder of her group Destiny’s Child, revealed in an interview this week how having lighter skin propels music careers, including his daughter’s.
In an interview Tuesday on Sirius XM’s “The Clay Cane Show”, Knowles talked about how colorism plays into the music and entertainment industry. Colorism is discrimination based on skin color or shade of skin, according to the National Conference for Community and Justice.
Knowles discussed creating a degree program at Texas Southern University for entertainment recording management. In the program, students explore how radio music programmers prefer to promote the music of light-skin artists. He used Alicia Keys early success as an example.
“In the music industry, there’s still segregation, as you know,” Knowles tells Cane during the interview. “Programmers at pop radio, they have this imagery of what beauty looks like. They want that imagery to be the same as those records.”
The former record executive also recalled how music legend Whitney Houston had to endured photos being edited to make her lighter during her heyday.
When Cane directly asked Knowles about how skin color affected Beyoncé’s career, the 67-year-old did not hold back.
“I think she would’ve had a— it would have affected her success,” Knowles said. “I use Kelly Rowland as an example.”
He goes on to say that Rowland, who is currently a judge on “The Voice,” had more success overseas, but did not have as much success in the U.S. due to her skin color.
His comments come just days after rapper and singer Torey Lanez told his social media followers that he had to advocate to have a model with darker skin featured in his latest music video.
Listen to the full interview here.
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