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Brian McKnight is back at one, again, after being at the receiving end of a lot of criticism for praising his stepdaughter while referring to his biological children as “evil.”

“In order to live a life that you love, you have to get rid of the evil and the negativity, even if that evil and negativity is related,” said the singer.

An Evening Of R&B With Brian McKnight

Source: Paras Griffin / Getty

The singer has been the talk of social media over the past few months for publicly disowning his sons, Brian Kelly McKnight Jr. and Niko, whom he shares with ex-wife Julie McKnight. He also a daughter named Briana, from whom he is also estranged, whom he shares with ex Patricia Driver.

The singer also gained two stepchildren, Julia and Jack McPhee, when he and his current wife, Leilani McKnight, tied the knot in 2017. They welcomed their first son together, Brian Kainoa Makoa Jr., in 2022.

Once the couple got married, the singer’s complicated relationships with his children became a topic of discussion on social media.

At the end of last year, Brian Sr. celebrated his stepdaughter, Julia, earning her master’s degree with an Instagram post, which revived the conversations about his biological children.

“You have a daughter, I wonder how this post makes her feel,” one of the top comments on the post reads.

In response, McKnight took to Instagram with a “Weekly Replies” video this week referring to Julia as “my one and only daughter.”

“She feels great,” he said about his stepdaughter instead of acknowledging his biological children. “See, Julia understands the scripture Exodus 20:12, where it says, and I quote, ‘Honor thy father and thy mother that thy days be long upon the land..’ See, she honors us, and in turn, we honor her because she knows how proud of her we are.”

In another comment, the singer referred to his biological children as a “product of sin,” also pointing out that his ex is the one who raised them, not him…as if that makes his case any better.

He also took the time to respond to another commenter, who supported Brian Sr. by writing, “The ones that keep saying, ‘what about his other children,’ some families are pure evil.’”

Unsurprisingly, McKnight was elated by this comment, saying that this fan “gets it” while seemingly confirming that his biological children were the “evil” he needed to remove from his life.

“In order to live a life that you love, you have to get rid of the evil and the negativity, even if that evil and negativity is related,said the singer. “We want everyone to live a life that they love but in order to do that you have to get rid of that evil and negativity.”


Back in 2020, Brian Sr.’s estranged daughter, Briana, filed a defamation suit against her father after he claimed she had a sexual relationship with an “older cousin.” The case was eventually dismissed in February 2023, but it looks like their relationship hasn’t improved in the year since.


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