Quantcast

R. Kelly stages racy performance amid protest, allegations - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

R. Kelly stages racy performance amid protest, allegations

(Photo by Frank Micelotta/Invision/AP, File). FILE - In this June 30, 2013, file photo, R. Kelly performs onstage at the BET Awards at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. Spotify has removed R. Kelly’s music from its playlists, citing its new policy on h... (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Invision/AP, File). FILE - In this June 30, 2013, file photo, R. Kelly performs onstage at the BET Awards at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. Spotify has removed R. Kelly’s music from its playlists, citing its new policy on h...

By TOM FOREMAN Jr.
Associated Press

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) - With demonstrators standing outside his concert protesting his presence, R. Kelly summoned his passionate fans to carry him through what has been a difficult week.

Interspersing references to God with his suggestive lyrics and salty language, Kelly stirred up a crowd inside the Greensboro Coliseum on Friday to buoy him as he encountered longstanding allegations of mistreatment of women and an effort to get coliseum officials to cancel the concert.

"Sometimes, some storms ain't gonna stop," Kelly told the audience during his nearly one-hour performance. "As long as my fans are calling for me, I'm gonna be on that stage, singing these songs."

Well after his performance, however, the storms that started before he arrived continued to roil.

Women's groups had urged the Greensboro Coliseum to cancel, days after Kelly was disinvited from a concert in Chicago. Spotify announced it would no longer stream his music in its curated playlists.

Although it didn't announce the move, Apple's music-streaming service also has stopped promoting Kelly's music on some of the featured playlists that it shows its 40 million subscribers. Like Spotify, Apple Music still carries an extensive selection of Kelly's songs in its library.

Apple declined to further comment Saturday.

Pandora also declined to discuss how it is now treating Kelly's music in its curated playlists, but said it has decided not to promote "artists with certain demonstrable behavioral, ethical or criminal issues. We approach each of these scenarios on a case-by-case basis."

But before the latest moves, Kelly took the stage, inviting some audience members to join him. Stage hands also passed out t-shirts that read "Turn Up R. Kelly."

"I've been through a lot of (expletive)" this week, he said. He thanked his fans, "for y'all to fight for me all these years."

Kelly said he was approached backstage to tone down his songs and language because there were families in attendance.

"Let me ask y'all something," he said to the crowd. "Can I do my show tonight?"

Kelly then launched into his sexually suggestive repertoire. At one point, he rubbed a fan's cell phone between his legs. He persuaded another to wipe his face, tongue and crotch with a towel.

Kelly denies abusing anyone and faces no current criminal charges, and his fans weren't giving up on their R&B superstar.

"Everybody has some skeletons in the closet. I'm not going to tear him down, every good thing he does, because of something negative in his life," said Clarissa Kelley of Lancaster, South Carolina.

The Greensboro concert was among the R&B singer's first performances since the #MuteRKelly movement accelerated boycott efforts in recent weeks, with help from the Time's Up campaign against sexual harassment and assault.

Protesters stood on the sidewalk outside the Greensboro Coliseum and criticized arena officials for declining to meet with a coalition of women's groups that signed a letter citing a "long term history of sexual misconduct" by Kelly.

"It's important for the black community to stand up and hold him accountable for his actions," said Omisade Burney-Scott, with the Sistersong, a reproductive rights group.

R. Kelly is one of pop music's best-selling artists, with hits including "Ignition," ''I Believe I Can Fly," ''Step in the Name of Love," ''Same Girl" and "Bump N' Grind." He's also written hits for Celene Dion, Michael Jackson and Lady Gaga.

He's written classic love songs and even gospel music, but he's defined by sexually explicit songs such as "Feelin' on Yo Booty," ''Your Body's Calling Me," and "Sex Me."

He was acquitted in 2008 of child pornography after a video circulated appearing to show him having sex with a teenage girl. But as he continued to score hits and sell out stadiums, more women have come forward in recent years accusing him of sexual misconduct.

Kelly had been scheduled to be among the performers at a May 5 concert in Chicago, but was dropped as efforts by organizers of #MuteRKelly gained attention with support from Hollywood's Time's Up campaign.

Spotify, citing its new policy against hateful content and conduct, announced Thursday that Kelly's music is no longer available on the service's owned and operated playlists and algorithmic recommendations. His music can still be found by those who search for it, but Spotify will not promote it.

Kelly's management protested the move in a statement to The Associated Press.

"R. Kelly never has been accused of hate, and the lyrics he writes express love and desire," the statement read. "Mr. Kelly for 30 years has sung songs about his love and passion for women. He is innocent of the false and hurtful accusations in the ongoing smear campaign against him, waged by enemies seeking a payoff. He never has been convicted of a crime, nor does he have any pending criminal charges against him."

___

AP reporter Michael Liedtke contributed from San Francisco.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • NationalMore>>

  • Texas school gunman: 'I'm going to kill you.' Then he fired

    Texas school gunman: 'I'm going to kill you.' Then he fired

    Saturday, May 19 2018 11:51 PM EDT2018-05-20 03:51:30 GMT
    Sunday, May 20 2018 9:42 AM EDT2018-05-20 13:42:32 GMT
    (Jennifer Reynolds/The Galveston County Daily News via AP). April Salinas, second from right, her daughters Meah, 13, and Macee, 6, and Jeramiah Kelley read notes left at memorial behind Texas First Bank, Saturday, May 19, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. A gu...(Jennifer Reynolds/The Galveston County Daily News via AP). April Salinas, second from right, her daughters Meah, 13, and Macee, 6, and Jeramiah Kelley read notes left at memorial behind Texas First Bank, Saturday, May 19, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. A gu...

    The mother of one slain student said her daughter may have been targeted because she rejected advances from the suspect, who was an ex-boyfriend of her daughter's best friend.

    More >>

    The mother of one slain student said her daughter may have been targeted because she rejected advances from the suspect, who was an ex-boyfriend of her daughter's best friend.

    More >>
  • Family, friends recall shooting victims' optimism, humor

    Family, friends recall shooting victims' optimism, humor

    Sunday, May 20 2018 12:05 AM EDT2018-05-20 04:05:04 GMT
    Sunday, May 20 2018 9:42 AM EDT2018-05-20 13:42:06 GMT
    (AP Photo/Fareed Khan). Abdul Aziz Sheikh, center, father of Sabika Sheikh, a victim of a shooting at a Texas high school, shows a picture of his daughter in Karachi, Pakistan, Saturday, May 19, 2018. The Pakistani foreign exchange student is among tho...(AP Photo/Fareed Khan). Abdul Aziz Sheikh, center, father of Sabika Sheikh, a victim of a shooting at a Texas high school, shows a picture of his daughter in Karachi, Pakistan, Saturday, May 19, 2018. The Pakistani foreign exchange student is among tho...
    Among the 10 people killed in the mass shooting at a Texas high school were a Pakistani exchange student, a substitute teacher with a "lust for life" and a boy whose sense of humor made him impossible to not like.More >>
    Among the 10 people killed in the mass shooting at a Texas high school were a Pakistani exchange student, a substitute teacher with a "lust for life" and a boy whose sense of humor made him impossible to not like.More >>
  • Police search for motive in Texas school shooting

    Police search for motive in Texas school shooting

    Sunday, May 20 2018 12:06 AM EDT2018-05-20 04:06:13 GMT
    Sunday, May 20 2018 8:54 AM EDT2018-05-20 12:54:59 GMT
    (Galveston County Sheriff's Office via AP). This photo provided by the Galveston County Sheriff's Office shows Dimitrios Pagourtzis, who law enforcement officials took into custody Friday, May 18, 2018, and identified as the suspect in the deadly schoo...(Galveston County Sheriff's Office via AP). This photo provided by the Galveston County Sheriff's Office shows Dimitrios Pagourtzis, who law enforcement officials took into custody Friday, May 18, 2018, and identified as the suspect in the deadly schoo...

    A junior at Santa Fe High hid a shotgun and a handgun under his trenchcoat before opening fire in a first-period art class on Friday, according to an affidavit filed by police.

    More >>

    A junior at Santa Fe High hid a shotgun and a handgun under his trenchcoat before opening fire in a first-period art class on Friday, according to an affidavit filed by police.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly