R&B singer R. Kelly has been dropped from the line-up at the Fashion Meets Music Festival to be held in Columbus, Ohio. The decision to take the singer off the list of opening-day performers followed intense protests, according to Billboard Magazine on Tuesday. The protests, as one can imagine, have to do with R. Kelly’s past which has included allegations of him having been a sexual predator.
The inaugural Fashion Meets Music Festival is going to be held during the Labor Day weekend. After it was announced that R. Kelly would be an opening day performer, the fury of protests began. The protests began with persons taking to social media, including Twitter and Facebook to express their outrage that the festival’s organizers would include the singer on their stage. Additionally, other performers and vendors reportedly began asserting that they would have nothing to do with the festival if R. Kelly was included.
By Monday, according to USA Today, the festival parted ways with the singer and he will not be performing at the event after all. On February 3, 2002, a video came to light which allegedly showed Kelly engaging in sex with – and urinating on – an underage girl. That’s when Kelly’s legal history including charges of being a sexual predator began.
The singer was indicted in Chicago in June 2002 on 21 counts of having sex with a minor. Those charges were later reduced to soliciting a minor for child pornography, seven counts of videotaping the acts, and seven counts of producing child pornography. Though he continually denied that he was the man in the video, obviously, that legal history is still haunting him in 2014. Kelly had similar problems in Florida after that, but those charges were dropped.
A statement was released by Kelly’s publicist who asserts that the singer is sorry to disappoint his fans but yet he looks forward to seeing them in the near future during one of his upcoming tours. Without much concern, he has been involved in the entertainment field recently. He performed at 2013’s Pitchfork Festival and the Bonnaroo Festival.
The festival will go forward without R. Kelly by having other performers including O.A.R, Michelle Williams, Paper Diamond, Destructo, Future Islands, The Menzingers, and Maps & Atlases. The fashion portion of the fest will include Althea Harper, Kaolacore, Rox & Royalty, Alternative Fashion Mob, Dirty Rich Apparel, and Lubna Designs.