Dr. Rockell Brown Burton, a professor at Texas Southern University invited Mathew Knowles, father of mega superstar songstress, Beyonce, to her classroom to speak to her Radio Television and Film students about entertainment and media analysis.
Knowles, born in Gadsden, Alabama in 1952 said he credits his entrepreneur ways to his dad who ran his own scrapping business. His father worked on a produce truck making $25 a week and his mother knitted and sold quilts.
“I was one of the first Blacks ever to attend Fisk University in Tennessee and you had to be very smart,” said Knowles.
He graduated from Fisk University in 1974 and moved to Houston, TX in 1976. He landed a job at Xerox through a man he met during happy hour at a local bar. Knowles was the only Black in his department where he held his job with high standards until 1988 when it closed.
After leaving Xerox, Knowles helped make his ex- wife’s dream come true. In 1982, he and Tina Knowles opened a hair salon. By 1984 they had made their first million.
“In 1992, I entered the music business and got my former artist Lil’ O his first deal,” said Knowles.
Knowles went on to create Music World and take popular girl group, Destiny’s Child to the top of the R& B chart.
“In this business, the music has to be your passion and your dreams must come before everything,” said Knowles.
With 35,000 albums coming out each year he stressed to the students that only 1% (350) are successful and make a profit.