The last time Brian McKnight added to his Instagram feed was Valentine’s Day. But social media users have been dragging the artist based on resurfaced content for the last week or so.
Screenshots of his praise for his stepdaughter and love for his wife have sparked renewed critiques about his estranged relationship with his biological children. McKnight hasn’t publicly reacted to the drag sessions, but his biological son Brian McKnight Jr. seemed to shade his famous father in a post made on Wednesday.
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One of the first tweets that sparked the backlash came from user @TheMegaChloe. It said, “I just learned that Brian McKnight named his newborn Brian McKnight. He has an adult son named Brian Mcknight Jr. This man is diabolical.” The tweet featured a screenshot of an Instagram post the “Back at One” singer dedicated to his newborn with his wife, Leilani.
McKnight’s post said:
“Dear Baby Brian, Everytime I look at you and kiss on you I’m feeling feelings that I did not know I could possess, an over abundance of love between a father and his legacy that cannot be measured. You see, I never was a sentimental man, not until I met your mommy and fell head over heels in love with her. And because of our love for one another, I realized my true reason for being here on this earth and it’s to be her loving faithful husband and to create the legacy of that love, my NAMESAKE, my JOY my baby boy, YOU!!”
For context, McKnight is the father of four biological children and two stepchildren. He has two sons–Brian Jr. and Niko–with songwriter Julie McKnight and one daughter, Briana, from a former romance with Patricia Driver.
Brian married Leilani in a New Year’s Eve ceremony in 2017. At the time, she was already a mother to two children, Julia and Jack, from a previous relationship.
The couple welcomed their son Brian after the death of their first son Kekoa Matteo. Knight reflected on the loss in May of last year, saying it was “very first time in [his] life” that he got to “experience what it’s like to want to and plan to have a child made from love.”
Here’s Why Social Media Users Are Going Off
As mentioned, the McKnight critiques aren’t new. Most of the recent backlash surrounds resurfaced content, including praise for his wife during an interview and Instagram posts dedicated to stepdaughter Julia, whom he calls Jules.
In a 2020 interview, Brian explained that none of the music he created before meeting his current wife has any meaning, including “Back at One.”
“The only ones that speak to me are the ones I’ve written since Leilani came into my life cause those are the only ones that have a meaning. Sure they were big hits before then, but they weren’t based on anything cause I never liked anyone before I met her. The first time I felt my heartbeat was the day she came into my life. So everything that I wrote before then wasn’t based on anything romantic,” he said. Adding, “these three albums that I’ve done since we met, every single song, it has a meaning, it has a story.”