Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 20 August 2019

R Kelly fans pay $100 to see the singer perform for 28 seconds

The disgraced musician asked media to 'take it easy' on him ahead of a new gig in America

Musician R. Kelly leaves his Chicago studio on February 22, on his way to surrender to police. AP
Musician R. Kelly leaves his Chicago studio on February 22, on his way to surrender to police. AP

R Kelly has returned to the public sphere. The disgraced musician, who was recently charged on 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse, gave a 28-second performance at a club in Illinois, US, on Sunday morning, and then spent 30 minutes mingling with fans who reportedly paid between $50 (Dh183) and $100 to see the Grammy Award-winning singer.

A few hours ahead of the gig, the I Believe I Can Fly singer posted a video on his Instagram account, asking the media to "take it easy" on him.

He said: "Yo, this is your boy Kells, I've got an event to do in Springfield, Illinois, so I want the media to take it easy on me, man. This is how I got to get paid now for right now.

"So I got to go do this event, it's a party, so when you see me in the club, with a couple of drinks in my hand, and chilling, please, take it easy. Appreciate it y'all. Thanks."

The star got a vast number of supportive comments on the post, to which he replied, "Thank y'all for ya'll support".

Other more critical social-media users also responded to the supportive comments. "I wonder if you all would let your own daughters hang out with him?" wrote one. "You should all be ashamed of yourselves."

In February, Kelly was charged on 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse of four people, including three teenage girls. It follows years of investigations into the singer's behaviour, which began in 1997, when Tiffany Hawkins filed a complaint against him, alleging intentional sexual battery and sexual harassment while she was a minor, according to court records.

Two TV stations reported that about 100 people visited the Springfield club on Sunday to see Kelly, who arrived at the club at 1.30am. Once he was there, the entrance fee was lowered from $100 to $50. He reportedly spent the next hour singing a line from one of his songs for a total of 28 seconds, then speaking with and taking selfies with fans for the following 35 minutes or so. The club shut at 3am.

It was reported that fans were disappointed, and claimed the evening was not worth it. A number said they would not pay to see the "artist" again.

Updated: April 8, 2019 10:10 AM