Tina Knowles-Lawson recently opened up about the time she had to teach a young Queen Bey an impactful lesson on never coming off as too entitled and the tough love she had to give to the then-aspiring entertainer.
The admission was part of a larger cross-generational discussion with former first lady Michelle Obama and an influential panel of black women, including recording artists H.E.R. and Kelly Rowland, supermodel-activist Winnie Harlow, and Knowles-Lawson, moderated by radio host Angie Martinez.
The women covered several topics, with some of them including the struggles of motherhood and how they balance protecting their children while also allowing them to be in the world and make mistakes.
This led the 69-year-old designer and mom to Grammy Award-winning daughters Solange Knowles and Beyonce Giselle Knowles-Carter to recall a time she had to teach the then-young “Lemonade” singer a lesson on entitlement.
The entrepreneur said she makes sure “that there’s a balance so that they don’t feel that they’re entitled to things, because I remember stories about that because of the position that they are in that they’re entitled and that someone should just give them something.”
Tina continued, “I remember Beyoncé being in the group at first … and someone coming in … she bought the other girl in, and the girl was older, like, stronger, and had a better voice at the time than her.”
Angie Martinez inserted “not possible, not possible,” but the fashion designer assured her that it was true, “no, yeah, because she was much older and stronger and her coming home and saying, ‘that’s not fair because I brought her there and, you know, they’re not even telling me thank you, and now she’s just singing all the lead.’”
Tina instead advised her daughter to take another approach, as opposed to just siding with her. “And I’m like, you know what, I would go get in those voice lessons, and I’d just work twice as hard because the world ain’t fair.” She noted, “That was a really tough lesson for that age.”
The designer revealed that Beyoncé was quite upset by the experience and even told her, “I hate you.” “You not my best friend, and I hate you,” she jokingly added. Mom to Malia Ann Obama and Sasha Obama shared that she would often tell her girls to “go in your room and say that because I don’t want to hear that.” She acknowledges, “you can feel it. ”
Tina added, “But you know it’s not real, it’s just like saying when your kids say ‘you are not my best friend,’” before teasingly adding “Well, I don’t want to be your best friend.”