R. Kelly’s Legal Past Costs Him Festival Opportunity

Features

By: / July 29, 2014

R. Kelly’s troubling past always seems to find a way to catch up with him. Last week, the Pied Piper of R&B was removed from Columbus, Ohio’s Fashion Meets Music Festival due to backlash regarding his prior legal troubles.

“We wanted to make sure we heard the Columbus listeners, to make a statement and support the city we live in,” Melissa Dickson, a spokeswoman for the festival, told The Columbus Dispatch.

The decision to pull Kellz from the Nationwide show on August 29 was spearheaded by Saintseneca, a Columbus band, who chose to drop out of the show after learning of Kelly’s booking.

“We feel his selection as a performer ignores his very serious allegations of sexual violence and assault,” the band said in a post on their website. “We feel it is an affront to all survivors, who are already often overlooked and forgotten in our society.”

Things were taken a step further when WCBE, a Columbus public radio station, withdrew their sponsorship of the festival on account of the Grammy-winning artist. However, R. Kelly assured fans that he would be “seeing them in the near future during one of his upcoming tours” and was “sorry to disappoint” in a statement released through his publicist.

Despite Kelly’s removal from the show, there won’t be a replacement. Michelle Williams, O.A.R., and Future Islands are among the artists slated to perform next month at the festival.