Beyoncé shared a memo on her website, expressing gratitude to her Uncle Johnny. In the note she shared, “A big thank you to my Uncle Jonny. He was my godmother and the first person to expose me to a lot of the music and culture that serve as inspiration for this album.”
An older post paying homage to their Uncle Jonny was posted back in September 2020 by Solange on social media via her other Instagram profile, @cancersznisforever. The post is a heartwarming ode to the man, who contributed a lot to both of the Knowles sisters.
Solange posted an adorable throwback photo of her and Uncle Johnny and in the caption she affectionately wrote:
“This is my uncle [Jonny]. I miss him a whole lot today. He was my nanny from 2 until 7, my caretaker, my best friend, my partner in crime (insert cocktail, and Barbie’s ass face down on probably a regular Tuesday afternoon while my parents were at work lol). I loved him and he made me feel safe and accepted my lil bad weird ass for who I was because he was just like meeee.”
The rest of the message is heartbreaking. As some may believe, death comes in threes. She discusses the grave loss of her Uncle Johnny, along with two other very influential people in her life.
“He died pretty suddenly, (so did my childhood therapist who was there to help me cope with loss), and my very best friend Marsai,” Solange recalls in her caption. “There’s something that happens to a child who experiences this kind of loss to people they feel the most safe and seen by. [You] prime yourself to expect if/when they get close to someone, the person will most likely leave them. [I’ve] been an expert at leaving people first, cutting peeps off, and going on about my day no tears shed… but now experiences in my life are stretching me and teaching me how to step into faith and the things I know to be true. what I am deserving of. I miss [Jonny] and [Jonny] would be proud of meeeee.”
Uncle Johnny’s death came at a difficult time for Solange, losing her best friend Marsai and childhood therapist right after.
Both Beyoncé and Solange remember how impactfcul their Uncle Johnny had been to them growing up. So much that Queen Bey decided to celebrate his legacy with her Renaissance release and Solange to share with the world how moved she was by his contributions.
Though fans weren’t graced with the presence of Uncle Johnny, his legacy lives on through their music.