TheRoot.com, By Amira Castilla, Posted November 14th 2023
The “Distant Lover” singer continues to deny his children from his first marriage
Singer Brian McKnight has decided to show which family he claims by officially changing his name.
On Saturday, October 21, McKnight took to his Instagram to announce his new name along with new music. Under a picture of Brian Kainoa Makoa McKnight Jr., the caption reads, “JR. because I am also proud to officially announce that I have legally changed my name to exactly match my legacy’s. My legal name is now BRIAN KAINOA MAKOA MCKNIGHT SR.” He also included that his newest album is titled “MCKNIGHTtime LULLABIES. In January, Brian welcomed a son with his now wife Leilani Mendoza McKnight and is also a stepfather to Mendoza’s two children, Jack and Julia, from a previous relationship.
This summer the “Back At One” singer was exposed for allegedly abandoning his children, Brian Jr. and Niko, by his first wife, Julie, whom he married in 1990 and divorced in 2003. Brian Sr.’s first son responded to his father’s name change. When someone commented on Instagram that Jr. should change his name to avoid being associated with his estranged father, he typed:
“I’m not ashamed of the name my ancestors had. I’ll never change the name my own son now has. We are witnessing an obscene level of self-hate, that has reached mental illness status at this point.” He continued to explain his love for his stepfamily whom he allegedly has yet to meet, “All we can do is pray for that man and my new little brother who we will all welcome with open arms one day, once he realizes who his real family is.”
The accusations of Brian Sr.’s messy actions rose after a 2020 Instagram post resurfaced of Brian Sr. celebrating his stepdaughter, Julia, typing in a caption, “Jules I became a girl dad because of YOU and I couldn’t have asked for a better daughter…Here’s to you Jules the perfect daughter I always wanted.” He was dragged online for making it seem like he didn’t already father a daughter from his previous marriage. He clapped back at his first children’s accusations saying that the decision for him to be out of their lives was mutual and that he changed his will after making the decision to be out of their lives.