R. Kelly In Concert - Brooklyn, New York
Getty Images

Petition Urges Sony Music to Drop R. Kelly Amid Sex 'Cult' Allegations

“It’s time to speak out just as loudly against R. Kelly.”

A new Care2 petition is demanding Sony Music Entertainment releases R. Kelly from its label after allegations went public Monday of the singer operating a sex "cult."

Originally reported by BuzzFeed, the story revealed disturbing details regarding women between the ages of 18-26 who are reportedly being held captive in two of his properties in Chicago and Atlanta. According to the story, Kelly controls every aspect of their lives, including "what they eat, how they dress, when they bathe, when they sleep, and how they engage in sexual encounters that he records."

If Kelly's rules are broken, in response, the crooner physically and verbally abuses the women, according to the article. “We must not let habitual abusers float above justice simply because they are rich and famous,” the Care2 petition reads. “Let’s work together to turn R. Kelly into a symbol for victim’s rights, reminding abusers everywhere that no one is untouchable.”

After the story made headlines Monday, Kelly's lawyer, Linda Mensch, said in a statement to Pitchfork that her client "unequivocally denies" the allegations. "Mr. Robert Kelly is both alarmed and disturbed by the recent revelations attributed to him," Kelly's lawyer, Linda Mensch, told Pitchfork in a statement. "Mr. Kelly unequivocally denies such accusations and will work diligently and forcibly to pursue his accusers and clear his name."

Earlier this week, one of Kelly's alleged captives spoke out during an interview with TMZ. “I am in a happy place in my life, and I’m not being brainwashed or anything like that,” said 21-year-old Jocelyn Savage. “I just want everybody to know, my parents and everybody in the world, that I am totally fine. I’m happy where I’m at, and everything is okay with me…I’ve never been held hostage or anything of that nature.”

As for the petition, it currently has more than 9,000 signatures, heading toward a 10,000-person goal. “Care2 members have routinely spoken out loudly to stop serial sexual predators to whom society has given a pass, including Bill O’Reilly, Bill Cosby, and Dr. Luke,” the Care2 petition reads. “It’s time to speak out just as loudly against R. Kelly.”

Check out the petition here.

From the Web

More on Vibe

Getty Images

R&B Singer Andre "Mr. Rhythm" Williams Passes Away At 82

R&B singer and producer Andre Williams, who was best known as Mr. Rhythm, has passed away, Pravda Records confirms . The entertainer reportedly passed away on Sunday (Mar. 17) at the age of 82.

"It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of legendary artist Andre Williams," the Chicago-based label wrote in a statement on Facebook. "He died this after in Chicago at the age of 82. He touched our lives and the lives of countless others. We love you Dre."

William's manager, Kenn Goodman, told Billboard that the singer lost his battle to colon cancer while staying in hospice care. "He was diagnosed two weeks ago with colon cancer that spread to his lungs and brain," Goodman said. "After that his body started shutting down pretty quickly. But [he] was committed to trying to sing and record again."

Born Zephire "Andre" Williams, he moved from Alabama to Detroit as a teen in the early 1950s to launch his  music career. He gained local attention after winning the first place prize at the Warfield Theatre's amateur night show eight weeks in a row.

Williams then signed to Fortune Records and took over as the lead vocalist of the group, The Five Dollars. The group was later renamed Andre Williams and the Don Juans and released the top-10 charting single "Bacon Fat."

He would later go on to produce and record tracks including "The Stroke," "Humpin' Bumpin' & Thumpin'," the Five Dutones' "Shake a Tail Feather" and other Fortune Records singles like "Jail Bait" and "The Greasy Chicken."

In his later years, Williams continued to make music. He toured through Europe in 2001, 2005, and 2006, as well as produced a handful of indie compilation albums and group records. Williams was inducted into the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Fame in 2012.

Continue Reading
Gilbert Carrasquillo

UPenn Grad John Legend Talks "Rigged" Education System Amid Cheating Scandal

John Legend is weighing in on the college admissions cheating scandal that rocked Hollywood and the wealthy community earlier this month. Legend specifically discussed the challenges with America's education system while attending the iHeartRadio Music Awards in Los Angeles last Wednesday (Mar. 13).

While Legend highlighted the wrongdoing in the parents who reportedly paid and bribed their children's way into elite schools, he suggested that people focus on the bigger picture. "I went to a good school," Legend, who studied English with an emphasis on African-American literature at the University of Pennsylvania, said. "I think it's a longer conversation because I think a lot of people look at this rightly as fraudulent and dishonest."

He continued: "But the bottom line is, the system has been rigged for wealthy people for a long time," he continued. "The admissions system rewards people's parents being wealthy and people's parents having gone to a certain school. There's a lot of legal ways to do that that still aren't really that fair to a lot of other people."

As previously reported, the U.S. federal prosecutors charged 50 people who were allegedly part of a secret college admissions scheme. Wealthy parents, including Full House star Lori Loughlin and Desperate Housewives' Felicity Huffman, allegedly paid more than $25 million to a "college admissions counselor" who used the money to fake test scores and bribe college officials.

Shortly after the news broke, Chrissy Teigen made fun of the situation by posting a an image of a professional soccer team with her and husband John's faces Photoshopped on two of the bodies. She was referencing court documents that alleged Loughlin paid to have her daughter appear to be a recruit for the University of Southern California's crew team.

The FBI is still pursuing the investigation.

does this look real? we are trying to get into harvard @jenatkinhair @mrmikerosenthal @johnlegend pic.twitter.com/jpcNGq2mVi

— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) March 13, 2019

Continue Reading
Getty Images

H.E.R. Shares Studio Photo, Teases Collaboration With Ty Dolla $ign

While fans patiently await the release of H.E.R.’s debut album, the Grammy-winning singer is dropping hints on at least one upcoming collaboration. H.E.R. seemingly confirmed via social media Friday (March 15) that her full-length studio effort could be in the works.

The “Hard Place” singer tweeted a photo captioned, “Issa album coming,” and it looks like Ty Dolla Sign is involved.

Issa album coming. pic.twitter.com/x2YBguongb

— H.E.R. (@HERMusicx) March 15, 2019

Since the Bay Area native failed to clarify if the album on the way is her heavily anticipated debut (though it seems pretty clear), some fans are wondering if a joint album with Ty could be in the works.

Whatever the case, the 21-year-old R&B star's cryptic posts are keeping fans on their toes, and giving them a peak into her creative journey.

In VIBE's latest cover story, H.E.R. shared how she deals with pressure of being one of the most buzzed about new artists in R&B. “It’s a great expectation,” said the Bay Area native. “It’s a great thing to hear people putting me up to this standard and putting me on this pedestal and expecting greatness from me, but at the end of the day, I’m just trying to be a better me as an artist musically. As a person, I’m just trying to be better than I was yesterday and continue to elevate. I keep hearing all this stuff. It’s so easy to second-guess and overthink everything you’re doing now that people are watching. That’s when it starts to go downhill when you give in to that pressure.

“I have to keep doing me,” she continued. “I have to not look at what everybody else is doing, or what everybody else thinks should be happening right now.”

See video of H.E.R.’s recent studio session below.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

I’m playing drums again. Lol. I’m about to get nice. Just wait 😂 @tydollasign @theycallmecamper @flippa123 @saintluk3 WE LOCKED. 5AM VIBES

A post shared by H.E.R. (@hermusicofficial) on Mar 14, 2019 at 10:10am PDT

Continue Reading

Top Stories