R. Kelly is scheduled to perform at the Hulu Theatre at New York City’s Madison Square Garden next month, and while many will take issue with the venue for hosting the Pied Piper, reps from the world-famous arena believe it isn’t their job to judge an artist, regardless of their reputation.
“MSG has a long history of not censoring performers,” a rep told Variety. “We believe artists have the right to rent our venues to put on their own event, and that the public then has the choice whether or not to support that event.”
The singer has been accused of having inappropriate relationships with underage girls and of-age women believed by some to be held against their will in a sex cult. Kelly released a 19-minute song addressing several of the allegations last month entitled, “I Admit.”
He also proclaimed his innocence in a lengthy statement to Metro.co.uk.
“My team has advised me that this is not a proper platform to express my emotions. I will not discuss details about these false allegations that have been made against me.
“I will say that I am infuriated, and I am heartbroken by the false claims against me. These accusations being perpetuated by the media is an attempt to distort my character and to destroy my legacy that I have worked so hard to build. These allegations have created a character of me that is not the truth of who I am nor what I am about.
“The women in my life are consenting adults and they live with me on their free will. I am a God-fearing man, a son, a brother, and most importantly a father. The media has dissected and manipulated these false allegations to reach their own conclusions about me and what I do in my personal life. My focus has always been music and being in the music industry. At this time, my faith and my love for music are the only things that has not been affected.
“The devil is a liar. To whom much is given, from him much expected. To my fans, I love you all from the deepest part of me. I am nothing without you, my fans. Thank you very much for all your support. I am a God-fearing man and through God’s grace and mercy, I will survive.
“The police are not investigating me, there is no criminal investigations made against me, just allegations and conclusions. I ask that you wait for the truth to be revealed, before you condemn me, we live in a society where you are prejudged before knowing all the facts or truths.”
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Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.