Dubai Denies Any Plans For An R. Kelly Appearance

Singer R. Kelly publicist Darryll Johnson speaks to members of the media outside Cook County Jail on March 8, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. The singer owes more than $161,000 in child support to his ex wife.
Nuccio DiNuzzo / Getty Images

R. Kelly claims to have a performance scheduled in the U.A.E., but a recent announcement from Dubai’s government suggests that maybe the embattled singer isn’t expected to perform after all. According to AP News, the Dubai Media Office denied that Kelly was invited to the city at the request of its leaders.

Kelly, who was born Robert Sylvester Kelly, petitioned the court to allow him to travel for a performance in Dubai, as The Inquisitr previously reported. But in a rare rebuttal, the city’s leaders released a statement denying any such appearance.

“Authorities in Dubai have not received any request for a performance by singer R. Kelly nor are there any venues that have been booked,” it said, adding that Kelly “has not been invited by the Dubai royal family for a performance.”

Steven Greenberg, Kelly’s attorney, responded to the statement explaining that the singer had, in fact, signed a contract with a promoter.

“We did not say he was invited by the royal family, but the contract did provide that he would make himself available to meet with them,” he said.

While filing with the court for a request to travel, Kelly’s attorneys said that he had signed a contract for a performance in the spring in Dubai before he was charged on February 22 with 10 counts of sexual abuse charges.

“Before he was arrested Mr. Kelly had signed a contract to perform between 3-5 shows in Dubai, UAE, in April 2019,” the court filing says. “He requests permission to travel to Dubai for the shows. While there he is supposed to meet with the royal family.”

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The filing didn’t contain any other details about the performances, including where they were to have taken place. There doesn’t appear to be any publicity around any performances in the city, but that doesn’t mean a private club or wealthy family hasn’t hired the singer for a private performance.

Kelly has been struggling to pay his bills after his record contract was terminated when he was arrested. In addition to that, several streaming services have dropped his catalog and concerts he had scheduled in Illinois were canceled. Kelly’s lawyer argued that the singer needs to be able to travel in order to find work since his brand has become toxic in the United States.

As The Inquisitr previously reported, the family of Joycelyn Savage, Kelly’s girlfriend, worry that if the singer is allowed to travel to Dubai, he may take Savage with him and never return.