I believe he can't fly
June 30, 2022

R. Kelly sentenced to 30 years in prison 

R. Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison after being found guilty of all counts of racketeering and sex trafficking against him at his Brooklyn federal trial last year, CNN reports. Prior to sentencing, seven of Kelly’s victims addressed the court - “I am a representation of every woman, boy, child, man that you have ever afflicted with your deplorable, inexplicable acts and with that I leave you with yourself, Robert Sylvester Kelly” - “Angela” said to Kelly - “You used your fame and power to groom and coach underage boys and girls for your own sexual gratification". “These crimes were calculated and carefully planned and regularly executed for almost 25 years” - judge Ann Donnelly told the defendant announcing the prison sentence of 30 years for Kelly, five years more than the minimum prosecutors sought.

I now believe he can fly
October 06, 2021

YouTube deletes R. Kelly's channels

YouTube has taken down R. Kelly's video channels “in accordance with creator responsibility guidelines” on the social network, Reuters reports. Channel owners convicted of egregious crime may be barred if the content is closely related to the crime, making Kelly liable on the basis that he used his fame and power to establish his racketeering enterprise. R. Kelly songs uploaded by other channels, however, do not violate the creator responsibility guidelines, and his songs and albums remain available on YouTube.

"Banning Kelly’s music would be a form of censorship, and whatever metric is used to justify that ban should by all rights be used against others. But where does one draw that line? Kelly’s music continues to earn royalties, presumably millions each year. And stretching the question further, who exactly should be penalized? Should every songwriter, producer, or instrumentalist convicted of a certain felony category have each of their songs banned?" - Jem Aswad asks the essential question in Variety following R Kelly's conviction. Gives one possible answer: "Great art is sometimes made by horrible people, and whether or not a person is morally comfortable consuming that art, and earning money for that horrible person, is up to them". Jim DeRogatis, the journalist who brought the R Kelly story to the light, looks at the victims: "The verdict leaves several questions unanswered, including how the many people Kelly victimized will begin to heal".

Cavalry comes too late
September 27, 2021

R. Kelly found guilty in sex-trafficking trial

A jury in federal court in Brooklyn found R. Kelly guilty of racketeering and sex trafficking in his federal criminal trial, CNN reports. Prosecutors had accused Kelly of directing his employees to procure women for sex and sexually abused numerous women over the span of nearly 25 years. The 54-year-old singer now faces up to 20 years in prison.

Joycelyn Savage, YouTube screenshot

Lifetime docu-series 'Surviving R. Kelly Part II: The Reckoning' has been aired across three nights last week, and it chronicles the stories of survivors who have brought forth allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct against the embattled musician. It highlights the reactions and responses to the documentary and the survivors featured, as well as Kelly’s current legal situation. The […]

Pitchfork made a great selection of music books published this year - a collection of best writings by the satire website The Hard Times, high-school biography by Tegan and Sara, journals by ’70s gay porn flicks soundtrack author Patrick Cowley, a case against R. Kelly by journalist Jim DeRogatis who investigated him for 20 years, […]

New York federal prosecutors have accused R. Kelly with bribing a public officer for “the creation of a fraudulent identification document for Jane Doe #1”, NPR reports. Prosecutors allege in an indictment filed in Brooklyn federal court that the bribery occurred on Aug. 30, 1994, the day before Kelly married Aaliyah - who was 15 […]

R. Kelly has been charged with engaging in prostitution charges by prosecutors in Minnesota, who allege he solicited a teenager who asked him for an autograph in 2001. According to county attorney Mike Freeman, Kelly invited the 17-year-old to his hotel room and offered her $200 (£164) to undress and dance with him, and after […]

R. Kelly has been arrested in Chicago on sex trafficking charges, and is being held in custody. There are said to be 13 charges against the singer, including child abuse images and obstruction of justice. He's already pleaded not guilty to more than 20 sexual offences. R. Kelly began paying thousands of dollars in 2001 […]

Chicago journalist Jim DeRogatis published a new book 'Soulless' about R. Kelly and his, to put it mildly, problematic relationship with girls. He details not just the accusations of sexual abuse, but Kelly's complex history of out-of-court settlements, the music industry's complicity in his actions, and law enforcement's failure to bring him to justice, BBC […]

R. Kelly’s account at Wintrust Bank isn’t just completely drained, but in the red with negative balance of $13, on top of that, over $150,000 in holdings were also sucked out of Bank of America, leaving just $625 in Kelly’s pair of accounts there, court documents have revealed. The landlord of his Chicago studio is […]

R. Kelly has asked a judge to let him travel to the Middle East to perform several concerts, according to a new court filing that said he has struggled to get work in the U.S. since his February arrest on sex abuse charges. The R&B singer hopes to do up to five concerts next month […]

“We have to separate the man and his humanity and his faults and failures ... from his genius,” said Riser, a Motown Records alum who wrote the orchestra parts and directed the strings and woodwind musicians for R. Kelly's 'I Believe I Can Fly'.  James Walker Jr., an Atlanta-based entertainment attorney who has represented Rick […]

Embattled US R&B singer R. Kelly has been taken into custody for failing to pay child support to his ex-wife Drea Kelly, for their three children. A judge in Chicago said he would be held until he paid $161,000 (£122,000) owed to his ex-wife and their children. The singer showed up to the hearing with […]

R Kelly was released on bail on monday, after a 47-year-old woman from suburban Chicago, allegedly a friend of his, posted the bail — 10% of the $1 million bond set by a judge. Since his arrest on Friday, Kelly struggled to come up with the funds to cover his bail. His lawyer, Steve Greenberg, […]

R Kelly has been charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, at least nine of which involve minors. He has never been convicted and has previously denied other allegations. An arrest warrant was issued, and the 52-year-old turned himself in to police in Chicago later on Friday. His lawyer says he is "shell-shocked". […]

While on stage in Chicago, Erykah Badu told her fans she was “puttin’ up a prayer right now” for R. Kelly. The veteran singer also told of her hopes that, someday, Kelly sees “the light of day and comes forward". “But what if one of the people that was assaulted by R. Kelly grows up to be […]

A new video has surfaced proving that Kelly definitely knew Aaliyah was only 15 at the time of their marriage. The clip is taken from a 1994 documentary and unequivocally sees Kelly acknowledging Aaliyah’s age (watch it here). “Right now I’m producing a very talented lady — a young lady,” Kelly narrates in one of the scenes, […]

R Kelly's daughter Buku Abi, real name Joann Kelly, posted on Instagram saying she was "devastated" by the recent accusations in the documentary 'Surviving R Kelly'. The 20-year-old said she hasn't seen or spoken to him in years, calling him a "monster" and a "terrible" father (BBC). Guardian emphasizes how this docu-series is a watershed […]

For 20 years R Kelly has faced numerous accusations of sexual misconduct - with many of the stories alleging he preyed on teenage girls. But the singer has never been convicted and denies any wrongdoing, and nothing really happened, until US channel Lifetime released a six-part documentary called 'Surviving R Kelly' - which has been […]

Lady Gaga has apologised for working with R Kelly on duet 'Do What U Want' and said she intends to remove the song from download and streaming services. Kelly has been accused by numerous women of violent and controlling behaviour, including keeping them, some while under the age of consent, in what’s been described as […]

Two weeks after Spotify removed music by R Kelly and rapper XXXTentacion from its editorial playlists, in accordance with its new "hateful conduct" policy, the streaming platform will restore music by the latter in response to a backlash from the industry and its own staff. Spotify announced the "hate conduct and hateful conduct" policy on […]