R. Kelly has been catching major heat following the release of the Lifetime documentary Surviving R. Kelly. The six-part series detailed several sexual and physical abuse allegations the singer has faced over the span of his nearly 30-year career.
During that time, the Chicago crooner has worked with major stars, including Michael Jackson to Celine Dion. After putting in a request to collaborate with R&B group Destiny’s Child in the ’90s, however, he was rejected by Beyoncé’s father and group manager, Mathew Knowles.
Speaking to Metro.co.uk, the music executive revealed that the song Kelly submitted was subpar by his standards.
“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,” said Knowles. “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.”
Still, word of Kelly marrying singer Aaliyah at the age of 15 was “certainly” a factor; his daughter and three groupmates were all teenagers themselves at the time.
“The girls were 15, 16. When they went to the bathroom, Tina would go with them. They did not leave our eyes.”
Although Kelly never had the opportunity to work with Destiny’s Child directly, he did write a song, “Stimulate Me,” for the group that was featured on the soundtrack of the 1999 Eddie Murphy film Life. Kelly was not present at the time of recording, and Knowles made sure the track would not be included on any Destiny’s Child albums.
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Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.