Erykah Badu paused her concert in Chicago over the weekend to make a statement about R. Kelly in light of the recent allegations of sexual abuse made against the rapper. During her break from her set at the Aragon Ballroom, Badu announced that she is praying for R. Kelly, a statement which elicited boos from the crowd. Many concert-goers then took to social media to slam the “Next Lifetime” singer for defending the condemned artist, HuffPost reported.
A video of Badu’s speech circulating on Twitter shows the singer standing on stage with the music halted as she discusses R. Kelly in his hometown.
“I’m putting up a prayer right now for R.,” she began. “I hope he sees the light of day if he’s done all those things that we’ve seen on TV and heard those ladies talk about. I hope he sees the light of day and comes forward.”
Many fans booed in the crowd, while one person even yelled for Badu to “shut up.”
“What if one of the people that was assaulted by R. Kelly grows up to be an offender? Are we gonna crucify them? I mean, how do we do this? It’s just something to think about,” the singer continued.
One of the concert-goers, Venessa Gonzalez, told the Chicago Tribune that she attended the concert for a friend’s birthday. After watching the recent Lifetime docu-series Surviving R. Kelly, Gonzalez said that she and many other attendees were shocked to hear that Badu was discussing the matter in Chicago. The concert-goer explained that it is a “sensitive topic” for R. Kelly’s hometown right now.
Erykah Badu sparks controversy after repeatedly 'defending' R Kelly during concert https://t.co/pk2RNRnExs— The Independent (@Independent) January 20, 2019
On Sunday, after news of Badu’s comments spread, the singer took to Twitter to clarify what she meant during her concert. She explained that she loves unconditionally, but does not support poor choices, and her comments were simply meant to express that love.
“I want healing for you and anyone you have hurt as a result of you being hurt. Is that strange to you?” the 47-year-old artist wrote.
Despite Badu’s efforts to clarify that she was not defending R. Kelly, many fans replied to the singer’s tweet to express their own disappointment in her, according to People. One user pointed out that, when Badu called R. Kelly’s actions a “mistake,” she disregarded the fact that he is a “serial abuser.”
Another explained that they feel Badu should be praying for the victims of R. Kelly, instead of for the abuser himself.
The conversation comes just days after R. Kelly was dropped by his record label, Sony Music, following the release of the docu-series. The rapper’s lawyer has continued to deny any allegations against his client.