Singer R. Kelly is being criticized after performing for 28-seconds at a club in Illinois over the weekend.
According to local news outlet WICS/WRSP, the singer arrived at the Dirty South Lounge in Springfield, the state capital, around 1:30 a.m. Fans were originally charged a $100 entry fee, but it was cut in half for supporters who attempted to gain entry once he arrived.
After spending about 35 minutes “taking selfies, chatting, dancing and smoking cigars with fans,” Kelly hit the stage, where he thanked his supporters. He followed up by singing 28 seconds of one of his songs.
Several fans spoke with the news outlet about Kelly’s performance. Some said the singer’s appearance wasn’t worth $100 and they would not pay to see him again. Others said they continued to support the singer because they were able to separate the “accused criminal” from the “artist.”
Hours before hitting the Dirty South Lounge stage, Kelly shared a video on Instagram asking the media to “take it easy on him.” He also shut down claims that the paid appearance was a concert, referring to it as a “party” and an “event” in his post.
The disgraced singer was arrested and charged in February with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse involving four victims, three of whom were underage girls.
Kelly has vehemently denied all the allegations against him.
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Jasmine Washington is a beauty-obsessed journalist by day and a trap music connoisseur by night. A lifelong New Yorker, she got her start as an intern at the now-defunct Juicy Magazine. Jasmine joined the EBONY.com team as a writer, penning daily stories on all things Black culture and entertainment.