Her fourth solo album 4 is still number one on the charts but all is not so bright in Beyoncé’s world. When it was announced in March that the once bootylicious singer had decided to part ways with her longtime dadager Mathew Knowles, few suspected any foul play.
After all, Mathew Knowles had managed his daughter to fame since she was a child. That much togetherness day in and day out certainly seemed to warrant a break, especially for an artist who has expressed interest in taking on new challenges. But “why now” was the logical question that many asked at the time.
Over the years, Daddy Knowles has presented ample opportunities for a split. Most memorable is his recent scandal for fathering a child outside his marriage with a woman reportedly 20 years younger than him. Such acts greatly contradict the wholesome family image that the Knowles family had cultivated for Beyoncé since the superstar first entered the spotlight.
Still, Beyoncé stood by her dad as her manager, even if privately she was emotionally aligned with her mother, Tina Knowles. But even given Daddy Knowles’s soiled public image, few would ever believe him capable of stealing money from his own child, especially one he worked so hard to make a global superstar.
Yet that’s exactly what’s being reported as Knowles challenges Live Nation for relaying to his daughter that he stole money from her. Apparently an audit her law firm conducted backed up their claims.
Perhaps that explains why no father is present in her video “The Best Thing I Never Had” despite the extensive wedding scenes. Given the traditional Southern background Beyoncé has frequently touted in the past, the omission of a fatherly escort down the aisle or any close family is quite curious even for a video.
At the time the split was announced, Knowles expressed an interest in dedicating more time to his gospel and inspirational acts. Such chutzpah is indeed unbelievable when one considers the countless allegations against him for moral misconduct. As evidenced in the Casey Anthony trial, parents don’t always have their children’s best interest at heart.
With all the dire narratives of the many black fathers that aren’t in their children’s lives, we championed the Knowles story. As a husband, many of us acknowledged that Mathew Knowles may have failed but we never questioned his commitment to his children and especially not Beyoncé.Sure there were times, given Beyoncé’s penchant for being scantily clad and her many sexually-charged performances, when Knowles was accused of pimping his daughter. Let’s face it: few fathers would be so comfortable with their daughter being lauded as a sex symbol and living up to that billing.
When it comes to depicting the Madonna/whore image, Beyoncé has certainly mastered it. On stage, she’s Sasha Fierce and, in her real life, she’s practically the Virgin Mary, if we are to believe her public image. Overall, however, Daddy Knowles came across as wanting and doing what’s best for his child, especially at a detriment to the other Destiny’s Child members, most notably Kelly Rowland.
At the time of the split, Daddy Knowles shared that “Business is business and family is family.” In a recent interview with the black Christian women’s magazine Precious Times, Tina Knowles also stated that “You have to keep business professional and not take things personally.” But what does one do when family begins to damage the business? Keeping it business is a tall order when your own father continues to betray your trust.
Tina Knowles has a bigger heart than most of us. After filing for divorce in 2009, it was reported in 2010 that she had changed her mind. Forgiveness seems to reign supreme with the devoted mother who is a devout Christian. Fans, however, won’t be so kind. It won’t affect Beyoncé, who will be more loved and embraced than ever. Betrayed by your own father whom you loved and trusted in all aspects of your life has to be beyond devastating, especially after forgiving transgression after transgression.
So the constant maelstrom of controversy Mathew Knowles regularly generates shouldn’t darken Beyoncé’s destiny. After all, she has no control over her dad’s actions. We’ve all heard the clichés about fame’s dark side but, for Beyoncé that nightmare seems to be a reality. As much as her mother has stood by her man and given nothing but love to him and their children, he just refuses to act right. That’s not her mother’s or her fault.
In a world where “the black father as hero” is so desperately needed, Mathew Knowles hasn’t just let Beyoncé, his wife Tina and his other daughter Solange down; he’s let us all down. Let’s hope that his case indeed proves that he didn’t steal money from Beyoncé. That would just really be the ultimate dealbreaker, especially given his already less than stellar track record. While there’s little doubt that Beyoncé’s career will be just fine, one has to wonder about her heart.