R. Kelly asked the media to “take it easy” on him hours before he appeared at an Illinois club and reportedly performed for less than 30 seconds.
The 52-year-old singer showed up at the Dirty South Lounge in Springfield, Illinois early Sunday, where he performed for 28 seconds before mingling with fans, some of whom paid up to $100 for their ticket, which included a meet-and-greet that lasted for half an hour, the Associated Press reports.
Hours before his performance, Kelly announced his upcoming appearance in a brief Instagram video and asked the media to “take it easy.”
“I got an event to do tonight in Springfield, Illinois so I want the media to take it easy on me, man, this is how I gotta get paid now for right now,” he said. “So I gotta go do this event and 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,” he finished.
Kelly is currently facing a hefty legal battle, having been charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse in February, with prosecutors alleging that he victimized three underage girls and one adult woman. In the months since then, numerous women have continued to come forward with more allegations against Kelly, and multiple explicit tapes that allegedly show Kelly sexually assaulting a minor female have reportedly surfaced.
Kelly, who was acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008, pleaded not guilty to the sex abuse charges and has continued to deny all accusations against him.
After showing up at the Dirty South Lounge at around 1:30 a.m. on Sunday, Kelly danced, posed for selfies, and smoked cigars with fans, then took the microphone to thank his supporters for showing up and to sing one line from one of his songs, Illinois TV stations WICS and WRSP report. The audience at the club, which has a capacity of 450, consisted of around 100 people, some of whom paid the initial $100 entrance fee that was lowered to $50 once Kelly arrived at the club, according to the outlet.
Some fans who spoke to the outlets said that Kelly’s appearance was not worth the price of admission and they would not pay such a fee again. As for the allegations against Kelly, one fan told the stations that they believe there is “some truth to it,” another said that it was “all lies,” and others spoke of separating Kelly as an artist from Robert Kelly, the person and the accusations against him.
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