Following protests from music lovers, bands and the local public radio station, promoters of the Fashion Meets Music Festival in Columbus on Labor Day weekend have kicked Chicago R&B superstar R. Kelly off the bill.
Writes Columbusalive.com reporter Andy Downing, who first questioned Kelly’s place on the bill by writing about his sordid past of pursuing illegal sexual relationships with underage girls:
A joint statement released Tuesday evening by FMMF organizers and R. Kelly’s camp read, in part, “Fashion Meets Music Festival and headlining artist R. Kelly have come to the mutual decision to cancel Kelly's upcoming performance at the inaugural Fashion Meets Music Festival.”
Kelly’s publicist also released the following statement: “R. Kelly is sorry to disappoint his fans, but looks forward to seeing them in the near future during one of his upcoming tours.”
Kelly headlined the Pitchfork Music Festival in 2013, with little coverage of his problematic past outside this blog. However, a Village Voice article by Jessica Hopper in December renewed discussion about enjoying the star’s super-sexualized music given the many girls that he’s hurt, and it garnered 4.5 million page views.