What’s up, y’all? I know it’s been a hot little minute since I’ve been here, but I’m back now! Please excuse my absence, but I had a family vacation not too long ago, and I’ve been working on some other projects. I just have to learn how to spread myself out a bit more, that’s all. 😃
Now onto the article.
Growing up, Brian McKnight was an R&B king in my eyes. I remember when my mother bought his self-titled debut album circa ’94. We couldn’t stop listening to that CD. Coincidentally, just a few weeks before all this drama really came out, I was watching the Living Single episode where Brian made an appearance as himself (it was the episode where Max and Kyle broke up, if anyone’s wondering).
No, he didn’t have quite as much recognition as other big R&B artists/groups in the ’90s like Babyface, New Edition, Maxwell, Blackstreet, or Jodeci (as well as K-Ci and Jo-Jo), but he still entertained me over the years with classic tracks such as “Never Felt This Way,” “Back at One,” “Crazy Love,” “One Last Cry,” “The Only One for Me,” and my personal favorite, “Anytime.”
As the ’90s became the 2000s and later, the 2010s, I heard less and less from Brian. Little did I realize he was still doing his thing, the only difference was he was singing lewd songs about women’s va-jay-jays. By 2019, I heard about Brian again, but it had nothing to do with his music. That year, Lovelyti made a video about how Brian was estranged from his three oldest children. In the video, Brian claims he had to cut his oldest sons, Brian Jr. and Niko, loose because they were on the lazy and trifling side. As for his daughter, Briana, he let it be known that her mother only got pregnant with her to get a bag, and the resentment he harbored for his baby’s mother is the reason he and Briana don’t have much of a relationship. That didn’t sit well with me, seeing as his daughter never asked to be here, and he himself shouldn’t have been cheating on his wife in the first place (and if you’re gonna cheat, wrap it up!). Nonetheless, I hoped that everything would work out with Brian’s family and they would overcome their differences and be close again.
Fast forward four years later, it appears that Brian’s relationship with his oldest biological children has not only failed to improve, but it’s gotten progressively worse…mainly because of Brian himself. Recently, social media has unearthed the following Instagram posts from Mr. McKnight praising his step-children and current wife, while taking little digs at the other side of his family. Pay attention:
After all this foolishness was exposed, people came in droves to drag Brian McKnight. Not only that, but more people that either knew him from way back when or met him in passing or at a show spoke on their experiences with Brian, and most of the stories weren’t pleasant.
To add insult to injury, Briana (who I just realized also bears his name) filed a lawsuit against her father after he claimed she had a sexual relationship with an older cousin (if you watch the initial Lovelyti video, you’ll see where he makes this declaration). I read the court document, and although Briana initially sued Brian for slander, the lawsuit was later directed toward the failure to pay the total $1M life insurance compensation Briana was promised once she turned 21. Briana ended up winning the suit with a partial settlement. It’s just a damn shame she had to take her own father to court in the first place. Also, if that story is indeed true, isn’t an older man having a sexual relationship with a minor considered statutory rape? Brian claimed her mother cut him off from his daughter after all this was brought to light (also discussed in the Lovelyti video I cited), but even if that’s fact, couldn’t he have tried a bit harder to be there for his baby girl and share a bond with her?
And just when you thought this shit couldn’t get any messier, Mr. McKnight decided to respond to the backlash he’s been receiving as of late. He decided to show “proof” that he’s not a deadbeat dad by posting screenshots of past social media posts about his kids. The only thing is, his “proof” only damns him further. Some of the posts boast about “his entire family being together” when Briana is clearly missing. Not only that, but Brian included some of the social media timestamps in his screenshots, and they show that they were created over seven years ago. The ones that don’t have timestamps included still refute his argument, because the kids are a lot younger in the photos than they are now, proving the posts are nearly a decade old. He would’ve done better just living in his truth and saying, “Yeah, I don’t fuck ‘wit my biological kids.”
However, I decided to do some further research of my own, and guess what I found (or didn’t find)? Check out the five min. video below (you’ll actually get to hear my voice!).
Now, this situation irritates me for more than one reason. I’ll get the more miniscule one out of the way first. For the last few decades, Brian McKnight appeared to be the epitome of romance. He sang his songs with such conviction, and the lyrics were as sweet as honey. Let’s not forget that Brian has a gorgeous voice that would make any woman (or man) fall in love with him. As a matter of fact, I listened to some of his biggest hits while writing this article, and I was reminded how beautiful his songs were. Up until 2019, I never would’ve thought he had a mean bone in his body. However, I’ve learned that his work is not to be confused with his true personality, which shows him to be an extremely petty individual.
To explain the main reason Brian’s antics irked my nerves, I have to give y’all a little backstory. When my mother learned she was pregnant with me, my biological father peaced out. Not long after my mom dropped the news, she found out that my dad married another woman just to cash in on Army benefits (apparently, they provide better pay toward enlisted members that are married). On a side note, one of my biggest fears is that I finally meet the man of my dreams and when we take our blood test prior to getting married, I find out he’s my brother (or cousin, which is just as bad). 😱🤢🤮
The last my mom heard about my dad is that he unfortunately died in a car wreck. There’s a small part of me that would love to find out if that news is true, but there’s also a part of me that resents his rejection of me. If my father did perish in an accident, then ironically enough, the only evidence that he ever existed on this earth is me (unless he sired another child with his wife). I don’t even have a photograph of him. The closest thing I have to even show me what my father looked like 42 years ago is this Army commercial (my mom always hated this commercial, by the way):
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “What the hell does this therapy session have to do with Brian McKnight’s situation with his own children?” Simply put, I can’t stand fathers that neglect their own flesh and blood and/or put certain children—be they biological or not—over the others. It’s hurtful. Brian can say what he wants, but he’s doing is neglect. Naming his newest child Brian McKnight Jr., when there’s already a Brian McKnight Jr.—as well as a Brian McKnight III—the constant shows of affection toward his stepchildren, as well as the low-key shady captions in those social media posts, are all digs at his biological kids. You have to be at a new level of petty to do that, I don’t give a damn how lazy the boys were at one point in time. And let’s not forget, poor Briana did nothing to deserve her father’s rejection.
Also, I notice whenever Brian defends himself, he always has to say, “I’ve been there for my kids! I never missed a month of child support!”
Why is it that some men believe that throwing money at their children is raising them? Paying child support does not equate being there for them. Providing money is part of your responsibility, and something you should be doing anyway. No one’s about to give you a cookie for that. Showing them the same love you show your other kids, actually talking to them, spending time with them, getting in touch with them on their birthdays and other special occasions, and not slandering them on the internet counts as being a parent to your kids. Miss me with that other bullshit.
In conclusion, all this recent drama has shown Brian McKnight in a new light, one that isn’t at all flattering. I’m extremely disappointed in him. The saddest part is that reintroducing myself to his music makes me want to download the songs I loved as a teenager, but at the same time, the grown woman in me isn’t that keen on putting money in this man’s pocket, just to see him spend on one half of his family and act like the other half doesn’t exist (not gonna lie; I may still download those songs; they’re great. Don’t judge me). Mr. McKnight has now been added to list of folks that I love as an artist, but don’t particularly like as a human being. Do better, sir.
—Written by Nadiya
What do y’all think about the drama surrounding Brian McKnight? Do you understand why he’s closer to his step-children than his biological children? Do you not agree with the way he treats his biological kids? Are you still a fan of his music, or has his family issues turned you off to his music? Did you ever meet Brian McKnight? If so, was he friendly, or did he come across as full of himself? Let me know in the comments section!