A tour promoter has defended its decision to bring R Kelly for an Australian tour next year, despite multiple sexual abuse allegations that the singer is facing.
Today Kelly announced his first ever tour in Australia for February, with scheduled performances in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. The tour is organised by promoter Big Music Tour, which has spoken in its defence.
“We can confirm we are bringing R. Kelly to Australia. Our focus remains on his incredible music and bringing the show to his Australian and New Zealand fans,” said the company. “Mr Kelly was cleared of all allegations and in our view, you are innocent until proven guilty.”
Imagine not letting @tylerthecreator into the country but being totally chill with R KELLY wandering the streets and playing all-ages shows
— Reece Hooker (@ReeceJHooker) December 14, 2018
If R Kelly gets a Visa to enter Australia I might actually burn the whole fucking place down pic.twitter.com/xtmyhg3R1D
— MGH (@MichelleGHunder) December 13, 2018
Kelly has been accused of multiple sexual misconducts dating back to 2000, some of them involving minors. In 2008, Kelly was acquitted of 14 counts of creating child pornography. In 2017, Kelly denied claims that he was holding numerous women in an “abusive cult”.
In May, Spotify introduced a policy to remove controversial artists such as Kelly and XXXTentacion from the service’s sponsored playlists following the #MuteRKelly social media campaign. This policy was later rescinded due to accusations of racial bias.
In July, Kelly released a 19-minute song titled “I Admit” where he admitted to have had sexual relations with “older and young ladies” but denied allegations of sexual abuse.