Beyoncé’s role as a mother is central to her identity — as she makes clear, again and again, in the “Renaissance” concert film. “Kids don’t care what you do for a living. They just want mom,” she says, explaining why she switches into “mom mode” when her concerts are done, and remains involved in her three kids’ daily lives.
The concert movie also centers her parents and the people who brought her here: Mom Tina Knowles and dad Mathew Knowles.
Throughout behind the scenes footage and documentary-style interviews, Tina Knowles sits in the background, subtly supporting her daughter. She became more vocal on social media after the movie premiered, celebrating Beyoncé’s wins and defending her against criticism.
Read on to learn more about the parents of one of the most iconic performers of all time.
Beyoncé’s parents were married from 1980 to 2011
Tina and Mathew Knowles tied the knot in 1980 and were married for nearly 30 years. Tina Knowles filed for divorce in 2009, and the couple issued a joint statement to the Associated Press.
“The decision to end our marriage is an amicable one. We remain friends, parents and business partners,” they said at the time. “If anyone is expecting an ugly messy fight, they will be sadly disappointed. We ask for your respect of our privacy as we handle this matter.”
The former couple finalized their divorce in 2011.
Both remarried following their divorce
Tina Knowles tied the knot with the actor Richard Lawson in 2015. She filed for divorce in July 2023, citing “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for the split.
Meanwhile, Mathew Knowles said “I do” to model Gena Avery Knowles in 2013.
They share two children and four grandchildren
Tina and Mathew Knowles welcomed their first daughter, Beyoncé, on Sept. 4, 1981 (yes, she’s a Virgo). Their second daughter, Solange, was born June 24, 1986. Both went on to have successful careers in the music industry.
Tina and Mathew Knowles also have four grandchildren: Solange’s son with ex-husband Daniel Smith, Daniel Julez, 19, and Beyoncé’s children with husband Jay-Z: Blue Ivy, 11, and twins Sir and Rumi, 6.
Kelly Rowland was an honorary daughter
Beyoncé’s father was the manager of Destiny’s Child, the girl group that helped catapult her and bandmates to fame.
When Destiny’s Child bandmate Kelly Rowland was 11 years old, she moved in with the Knowles family, Tina Knowles said in a 2015 essay for TIME.
“You came to live with us when you were only 11 years old. You were the sweetest, most kind person I had ever met and you still are. You are also a true survivor. You never give up. Your discipline and drive always inspires me,” Tina Knowles wrote.
Beyoncé got her name from Tina
When it came time to name her first born child, Tina Knowles took inspiration from her own maiden name, as reported by ET.
“A lot of people don’t know that Beyoncé is my last name. It’s my maiden name,” she said in 2020 while appearing on the “In My Heart With Heather Thomson” podcast.
“My name was Celestine Beyoncé, which at that time was not a cool thing to have that weird name. I wanted my name to be Linda Smith because those were the cool names,” she said.
Mathew Knowles managed his daughter’s career until 2011
Mathew Knowles played an active role in building Beyoncé’s successful career and served as her manager until 2011. In a 2011 statement, the singer announced that they were parting ways professionally.
“I am grateful for everything he has taught me,” she said at the time. “I grew up watching both he and my mother manage and own their own businesses. They were hardworking entrepreneurs and I will continue to follow in their footsteps.”
In his own statement, Mathew Knowles called the decision “mutual,” as reported by Billboard.
“We did great things together, and I know that she will continue to conquer new territories in music and entertainment,” he said.
“Business is business and family is family,” he continued. “I love my daughter and am very proud of who she is and all that she has achieved. I look forward to her continued great success.”
Mathew Knowles managed Destiny’s Child and would love to see them reunite one day
Knowles told ET in 2023 that he’d love it if Beyoncé, Rowland and Michelle Williams reunited. “It’s a decision that the ladies would have to make,” he said. “And I would certainly, certainly support that decision as I still manage Destiny’s Child. I would love to see that as well.”
Knowles’ time as a manager was criticized. Former band members LaTavia Roberson and LeToya Luckett both brought multiple lawsuits against Beyoncé, Rowland and their manager and Knowles’ father, Mathew Knowles, as well as the group’s label, Sony Music, all of which were settled out of court.
Tina Knowles helped create her daughter’s ‘Austin Powers’ character
Beyoncé made her screen debut in 2002 playing Foxxy Cleopatra in “Goldmember.”
Producer John Lyons told Vulture in 2022 that Knowles-Lawson was present for her audition.
“It was clear that (Beyoncé) was so nervous at that audition, and Tina came with her, both as moral support and, I’m sure, to size us up and see if we were going to be respectful of her daughter and if we deserved her,” producer John Lyons told the publication.
Once on set, Knowles-Lawson helped the character come to life.
“Her mom was very much into blaxploitation movies,” director Jay Roach told Vulture. “She could tell that was the DNA for Foxxy. Her mom was so cool and so helpful and instantly had ideas for us.”
Beyoncé gets her sense of style from her mom
Tina Knowles’ fashion prowess, which was shouted out in “Renaissance,” has been part of Beyoncé’s entire career.
She was Destiny’s Child’s official stylist and handmade some of their costumes. She reflected on that time in her career in an interview with The Washington Post.
Their wardrobe was inspired by Motown groups — which, she said, became a “problem” for other people connected to the group, who pressured her to make the band members look more like Christina Aguilera or Britney Spears.
“(The costumes) were just a little too flashy, a little too Motown, but what they really meant was that they were a little too Black,” she recalled.
Mathew Knowles survived breast cancer
Mathew Knowles announced that he had been diagnosed with breast cancer in 2019. In a statement to TODAY.com, he explained why he shared the private news publicly.
“We need men to speak out! Men want to keep it hidden, because we feel embarrassed — and there’s no reason for that. I want to continue the dialogue on awareness and early detection — male or female. The key to this is early detection,” he said.
Tina Knowles is her daughter’s biggest fan
Don’t mess with Mama Tina! The 69-year-old regularly comes to Beyoncé’s defense when necessary. Most recently, she slammed critics who suggested that the Beyoncé bleached her skin for the premiere of her concert film, “Renaissance.”
“How sad is it that some of her own people continue the stupid narrative with hate and jealousy. Duh, she wore silver hair to match her silver dress as a fashion statement…” she wrote on Instagram.
“Every time she does something that she works her a- off for and is a statement of her work ethic, talent and resilience,” she continued. “Here you sad little haters come out the woodwork. Jealousy and racism, sexism, double standards, you perpetuate those things. Instead of celebrating a sister or just ignoring if you don’t like her.”
“I am sick of you losers,” she finished. “I know that she is going to be pissed at me for doing this, but I am fed up! This girl minds her own business. She helps people whenever she can. She lifts up & promotes black women and underdogs at all times.”