When Mathew Knowles — music exec and talent manager, who managed the early careers of his daughters Beyoncé and Solange and Destiny’s Child — appeared on SiriusXM’s The Clay Cane Show, he and the host discussed race 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.”
When asked if he thought Beyoncé‘s career would have been affected if she had darker skin, he said yes. “I think it would have affected her success. And I use Kelly Rowland as an example. She’s a great example. But you know, the great thing is Kelly did exceptional outside of America, especially in Australia. Kelly sold over 4 million records. She just got off script.
“If you look back even at Whitney Houston, if you look at those photos, how they lightened her to make her a lighter complexion. Because there’s a perception — the lighter that you are, the smarter — there’s a perception all over the world.”
Listen to the audio below.