Beyonce’s father Mathew Knowles has stepped in to defend the singer as she faces backlash from the LGBTQ+ community over her historic performance in Dubai.
The Cuff It singer performed an exclusive concert to celebrate the opening of new hotel Atlantis The Royal on Saturday, with select influencers, celebrities and members of the press in attendance.
It was the first time Beyonce, 41, has performed in the United Arab Emirates city and her first live performance since 2018.
However, the Grammy-winning musician has been criticised for performing in Dubai where homosexuality is illegal. Many have highlighted that Beyonce is a staunch advocate of the LGBTQ+ community, and that her latest album, Renaissance, is viewed as a tribute to Black queer culture.
Her father Mathew, who watched the Dubai show, has now weighed into the furore and argued that his superstar daughter has always stood for inclusiveness and wouldn’t ‘deliberately hurt someone’.
Speaking to TMZ, the former Destiny’s Child manager, 71, said the concert united a diverse audience and that she gave and received respect from the UAE.
Mathew also confirmed that the music icon will be announcing a Renaissance tour, but in her own time.
Among those criticising Beyonce was RuPaul’s Drag Race UK star Kitty Scott-Claus, who took to Twitter to ask if there was ‘one rule for one and one for another’.
She wrote: ‘Can someone explain why everyone was cancelling David Beckham the other month but now celebrating Beyoncé for performing in Dubai?’
The response to the performance, however, has been mixed, with some claiming that Beyonce only played a private gig at a hotel while David Beckham was paid to promote Qatar during the World Cup despite its violations of human rights and anti-LGBT laws.
According to reports, the singer received a payment of about $24 million (£19 million) to perform the exclusive show.
Beyonce played a condensed setlist in Dubai that featured mostly ballads from recent albums, like Spirit, Be Alive, and Bigger, as well as throwbacks to earlier singles like Drunk In Love, Naughty Girl, and Crazy In Love.
One of the most touching moments was when her 11-year-old daughter Blue Ivy joined her on stage and danced to Brown Skin Girl.