Then she told him how wonderful Kelly was then and how inspiring she is today…
“It’s amazing how well Kelly has done since then. She has really blossomed and for me it has been fantastic to watch her become this strong, independent woman.
“She is an inspiration to anyone, and I am honoured to call her my friend.”
She recalls when they were young children: “I would go to Kelly’s house to play. She was just as sweet as pie. Her mother worked as a nanny and eventually started working for my aunt, so they became like part of my family.
“Beyonce would come over to Kelly’s house and we would go swimming, build tents, read magazines. We would play Barbies all the time. Kelly loved Whitney Houston and would sing her songs. I was like, ‘Hey, I’m in a band, you should come over and rehearse’. She came to Beyonce’s house to audition for her parents and the rest is history. ”
In 1996 Knowles asked the parents of the other three girls if he could become their guardian.
The mothers of LaTavia and LeToya refused, but Kelly’s mother, who ran out on her drunk, abusive husband when Kelly was just three, agreed. From then on, she lived with the Knowles family in a cramped, two-bedroom apartment.
LaTavia says: “Matthew and Tina would share one room and Beyonce, her sister Solange and Kelly would share the other. They had two single beds with pull-outs underneath. Looking back, it must have been stressful for the family.”