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Mathew Knowles continues to push claim that lighter-skinned artists are more successful on pop radio


Paul Archuleta/FilmMagicMathew Knowles, whose new book Racism from the Eyes of a Child is out now, is standing by a claim he makes in the book that lighter-skinned artists are more popular on pop radio in the United States than dark-skinned artists. 

In a recent interview with Good Morning Britain, Knowles explains, “I’ve been in the music industry now for twenty-five years. And when I made that statement, I was speaking specifically as our radio is in America. We have urban radio and we have pop radio.” 

Knowles goes on to say that in the book, he doesn’t “use Beyoncé or Solange” as specific examples of colorism in the music industry — he refers to Mariah Carey and Rihanna

“If we look over the last ten years and we look at colorism, which is discrimination based on the shade of color, it’s a fact…Color, the shade of color, does make a difference in pop radio.” 

As previously reported, Mathew talked with Ebony about the music industry’s issue with colorism in the black community. 

He says, “I challenge my students at Texas Southern to think about this. 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, and what do they all have in common?” 

When the interviewer replied, “They’re all lighter-skinned,” Mathew added, “Do you think that’s an accident?” 

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