Matthew Knowles Acknowledges Being Light Skin Helped Beyonce’s Career
Beyonce’s father, Matthew Knowles, in an interview with Clay Cane on SiriusXM Urban View, has addressed the issue of segregation in terms of skin tone outside of and even within the African American community. In the interview, he mentioned that he taught a college class that carried out its own research study on “colourism” in music within a period of 15 years and found that, light-skinned black women fared better than darker-toned divas, especially at Top 40 radio. Some of the noted beneficiaries include; Alicia Keys, Mariah Carey, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj and Beyonce.
He also said; “In the music industry there’s still segregation,” said Knowles. “Programmers, especially at pop radio, have this imagery of what beauty looks like. … If you look back even at Whitney Houston, if you look at those photos, how they lightened her to make her look lighter-complexioned … Because there’s a perception and a colourism: the lighter that you are, the smarter and more economically (advantaged)… There’s a perception all around the world about color — even with black folks, there’s a perception.”
When asked by Clay if this theory on lighter tones had any impact on Beyonce’s career, he said; “I think she would have had — I think it would’ve 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.”