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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 23 February 2019

R Kelly announces new tour amid sexual abuse allegations

The R&B singer will visit New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Australia, prompting "concerns" from lawmakers

R  Kelly announced on social media this week that he'll be going to Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka. AP
R  Kelly announced on social media this week that he'll be going to Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka. AP

R Kelly is planning an international tour, but an Australian lawmaker wants the country to bar him from performing there.

The embattled musician announced on social media on Tuesday that he'll be going to Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka, in the wake of renewed allegations of sexual abuse against the star.

"See y'all soon," the post said, accompanied by a picture of Kelly and the declaration "The King of R&B." No dates or venues were revealed.

Kelly's career has been stifled since a #MuteRKelly campaign gained momentum last year to protest his alleged sexual abuse of women and girls, which Kelly denies. Lifetime's documentary series Surviving R. Kelly last month drew even more attention to the allegations, and his record label has reportedly dropped him.

'Serious concerns' raised

Kelly is a multi-platinum R&B star who has not only notched multiple hits for himself, but also many high-profile performers.

Australia has denied entry to other foreigners on character grounds, among them convicted classified document leaker Chelsea Manning, anti-vaxxer Kent Heckenlively and singer Chris Brown, who was convicted of assaulting then-girlfriend Rihanna.

"If the Immigration Minister suspects that a non-citizen does not pass the character test, or there is a risk to the community while they are in Australia, he should use the powers he has under the Migration Act to deny or cancel their visa," senior opposition lawmaker Shayne Neumann said in a statement.

Neumann added that the Labor party would be “seriously concerned” if the musician was allowed into the country.

Minister David Coleman's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Flamingo Dreamz, the event promotions company reportedly behind the tour, has not yet responded to requests for comment from multiple publications.

Last month, Kelly revealed reports of a touted tour of Australasia were false, posting on Instagram he was "not involved in this tour nor do I have knowledge of it". He added that any news of his next tour would come "directly" from him.

Updated: February 6, 2019 02:10 PM

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