R. Kelly's peak success wasn't simply due to his R&B roots. Robert was snatching accolades within pop, gospel and even hip-hop. He worked with countless phenoms — Michael Jackson, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Aaliyah, Jay-Z and the list goes on. So, it's rare to find an artist whose accomplishments weren't associated with the Chicago native, but '90s R&B supergroup Destiny's Child is one of those fortunate few who are able to claim that with pride.
The quartet was formed in 1997 and released their timeless debut, The Writing's on the Wall, in 1999. According to Mathew Knowles, Robert was eager and relatively adamant about working with Destiny's Child, but his requests were constantly denied. After hearing the rumors swirling around Robert and his then-protégé, Aaliyah, which were confirmed during Surviving R. Kelly, Mathew mentioned that his reputation was one of the reasons he opted out of having him work with the girls.
Oddly enough, that wasn't the sole reason their professional relationship never came to fruition.
Another reason why he and Ms. Tina kept the girls away from Robert is because "he liked to record late at night, around midnight. And what was different with his studio was that one room had a recording suite, and next door was a club, with 40 or 50 people dancing." At the time, the members of Destiny's Child were teenagers. Within the industry, it's known that studio sessions tend to be rowdy, and it's rightfully frowned upon by many. It was frustrating, however, because Robert's then-management at Sony would almost "force" you to work with their artists.
With the girls so young, Ms. Tina would even accompany them to the bathroom, refusing to keep them out of their sight. According to one source at Metro UK, "record labels would ask R. Kelly to write songs for emerging artists as a way to help them break into the industry, and he made several requests for Destiny’s Child." He did pen one song for them entitled, "Stimulate Me," off of the Life soundtrack. However, he was not present at the time of recording and Mathew didn't want it to be listed on any Destiny's Child albums.
It was previously alleged that Robert often would sleep with young girls, usually aged 14-16 (his preference), while recording music, so Mathew and Tina definitely made the right decision.
(Photos from left: Scott Gries/ImageDirect, Jim Smeal/WireImage)