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Mathew Knowles: There's still segregation in the music industry

The 67-year-old record executive and talent manager has slammed the music industry for having 'this imagery of what beauty looks like' when it comes to skin colour.

FILE: Music mogul and entrepreneur Dr Matthew Knowles at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business. Picture: EWN.

LONDON - Mathew Knowles believed there was still segregation in the music industry.

The 67-year-old record executive and talent manager - who is the father of singers Beyoncé and Solange Knowles - has slammed the music industry for having "this imagery of what beauty looks like" when it came to skin colour, and believed artists of colour didn't do well if their skin was darker.

He said: "In the music industry there's still segregation. 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. If you look back, even like Whitney Houston, if you look at those photos, how they lightened her to make her look lighter in complexion ... there's a perception, colourism, the lighter that you are, the smarter, the more economically ... there's a perception all around the world about colour, even with black folks."

And Knowles even believed his own daughter Beyoncé would not have achieved the level of career success she has if she had darker skin.

Speaking to SiriusXM's The Clay Cane Show on Wednesday, he said: "I think she would have had - 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 four million records. She just got off script."

This wasn't the first time Knowles had spoken about his daughter's success in relation to her skin colour, as he accused the music industry of "colourism" in an interview in February.

He said at the time: "When it comes to black females, who are the people who get their music played on pop radio? Mariah Carey, Rihanna, the female rapper Nicki Minaj, my kids [Beyonce and Solange], and what do they all have in common?"

The interviewer asked if it was that they had lighter skin, and Knowles responded: "Do you think that's an accident?"

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