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‘Whole Family Named Brian McKnight’: Brian McKnight Jr. Speaks Out, Says He’s Not Changing His Name or His Son’s Despite Estranged Relationship with His Father and Having a Little Brother with the Same Name

Despite their tumultuous relationship, Brian McKnight’s eldest son is set on keeping his father’s “lineage” alive.  

Brian McKnight Jr. recently took to Instagram and addressed those who’ve suggested that he get rid of any connection to his Grammy-winning father, including his name.  

Brian McKnight Jr. says that he and his son will keep their names despite having a little brother with the same name. (L) Brain McKnight Sr. (Pictured: @brianmcknight/Instagram) (R) Brian McKnight Jr. (Pictured: @brianmcknight23/Instagram)

“Okay listen, I appreciate all the love and all of the concern and all of that as usual. But, to the particular group of people that are always like, ‘Yo, you should change your name. You should change your name,’ Why the f–k would I do that?” he said. 

McKnight Jr. added that he cherishes everything his name represents. “First of all, I love my name. I appreciate my name, I appreciate my lineage, I appreciate where my name comes from.”

Related: Brian McKnight Hits Back at Critics, Posts Throwbacks with His ‘Black’ Children After Being Slammed for Favoring His New Family

He then explained that his 9-year-old son, whom he shares with his ex-girlfriend, Lauren Weatherspoon, carries the name as well, and expressed feeling like he’d do his child a disservice if he decided to switch his given name.

“I just in my heart feel like that would give off such an incredibly wrong message and example for my son when it comes to loving his name and what his legacy could be if I change my name just because of what my father did,” he added. 

The R&B crooner hasn’t had the best relationship with his three adult children, which include McKnight Jr., his son Niko, and his daughter Briana McKnight. 

While his two oldest offspring are from his previous marriage to Julie McKnight, his daughter is shared with another woman from a different relationship. 

Their family drama was put on full display following fans’ claims that McKnight had abandoned his biological family and moved on to create a new family with his current wife, Leilani Malia Mendoza, and her children. 

Mendoza has two children, Julia and Jack, from a past relationship.

The rumors came onto the scene after Brian Sr. purchased Julia a 2023 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe for her birthday. He also has all of his stepchildren’s names in his Instagram bio, but info on his older kids is nowhere to be found. 

Despite the hearsay, McKnight revealed that he cut off Brian Jr. and Niko after they reportedly felt entitled to his earnings, but he said that their estrangement was ultimately a “mutual” decision.

Brian Jr. closed out his openly speaking by saying that he “will always be Brian McKnight Jr. no matter what.” 

His video was reposted by The Shade Room on Instagram, where many in the comments section didn’t hold back as they criticized the “Back at One” artist and his parenting skills. 

Some reactions were ones siding with Brian Jr., including one in particular that said, “That’s his name , I wouldn’t change it either just because his daddy’s being a bum.” 

Another social media user wrote, “They way Brian acting like a bitter hoochie mama, he better hope he doesn’t need those kids one day.”

Several others brought up Brian Sr. and Mendoza’s 5-month-old son, whose name is Brian Kainoa Makoa McKnight. 

“Whole family named Brian McKnight.”

“We don’t need this many Brian McKnights.” 

Just a few days ago, after celebrating his 54th birthday on June 5, McKnight declared his youngest son is his “reason for living.” However, his appreciation post did not go over well with fans who once again brought up his adult children.

It seems like this family drama is never-ending.

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