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R. Kelly's career continues to go up in flames

RCA won’t put any money behind his projects, and an Illinois concert event won't go on with him as host

by Rex Santus
Jan 14 2019, 9:35pm

The unraveling of R. Kelly’s career continued over the weekend in the wake of the recent six-part docuseries that detailed a decades-long list of sexual misconduct and abuse allegations against the world-famous R&B musician.

Kelly, who married the singer Aaliyah in 1994 when he was 26 and she was just 15, has long been accused of having sex with underage girls, including on camera. The Chicago native has settled numerous lawsuits brought on by accusers who claim he had sex with them when they underage. In 2018, BuzzFeed News reported that Kelly was allegedly imprisoning women and controlling everything about their lives, including what they ate and where they could go. Police have reportedly launched multiple investigations into allegations against Kelly.

But the Lifetime series ”Surviving R. Kelly”, which aired earlier this month, has renewed public interest in him and finally brought serious consequences for his career:

• RCA, the record company that reps R. Kelly, won’t produce any of his new music, won’t release any of his new music, and won’t put any money behind his projects as criminal investigations against the 52-year-old unfold in Georgia and elsewhere, according to a TMZ report out Saturday. Kelly is under an obligation to release at least two more albums under RCA, which is owned by Sony, under his current contract. RCA did not immediately respond to VICE News’ request for comment.

• The Chicago Tribune reported Friday that state officials, citing security concerns, denied a permit to an April concert at the Illinois State Fairgrounds that would have featured Kelly as host. The event will be reconsidered for a permit only if Kelly is not on the bill to perform, Illinois Department of Agriculture spokeswoman Denise Albert said. The permit denial was a direct result of protests that happened outside of Kelly’s Chicago recording studio last week.

• A group of cops visited R. Kelly’s residence at Trump Tower in Chicago on Friday. Two women reportedly living at the residence told police they were not there against their will.

• TMZ also reported that the parents of one of the women Kelly is allegedly holding as a “sex slave” have reached out to the musician’s attorney demanding to meet with their daughter — but only if Kelly is not present.

• Former collaborators of Kelly’s have spoken out disavowing him, including Lady Gaga and Chance the Rapper. One notable exception, however, is Kanye West, who reportedly defended Kelly’s career at a Jan. 13 church service: “They just gonna pull up full documentaries on him," he said, according to Complex. "Then they gonna come with the Michael [Jackson] documentary. ... We can all enjoy all their music all we want. I thought I wasn't going to go there today. If we're gonna tear down artists, let's go ahead and take [Leonardo] da Vinci out the Louvre. Let's take down all the art." West’s wife, Kim Kardashian West, later tweeted in attempt to dismiss her husband’s comments as “being taken out context.”

Cover: In this Nov. 17, 2015, file photo, musical artist R. Kelly performs the national anthem before an NBA basketball game between the Brooklyn Nets and the Atlanta Hawks in New York. As critics of the singer seek to cancel his shows because of his alleged mistreatment of women, a community leader in North Carolina says she and others will stage a protest if his Friday show in Greensboro takes place. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)