For years, R. Kelly has been behind bars fighting for his freedom. Late last month, he found out his fate– 30 years in prison for sex trafficking and racketeering. Throughout the entire process, thousands of people have shared their opinion on the matter– some for him, and some against him. However, one celebrity, in particular, seems to have changed their mind.
Ne-Yo has shared his view on the argument that artists who have been disgraced should no longer have their works appreciated, admitting in a new interview that he’s still a fan of R. Kelly.
Speaking to The Independent to promote his eighth album, ‘Self Explanatory’ – which arrived last Friday (July 15) via Motown – Ne-Yo said he was unsurprised by Kelly’s sentencing, and stressed his support for those embroiled in the ‘Ignition’ hitmaker’s many heinous crimes. “I pray this gives everybody who feels they were victimised by him a little bit of closure, on whatever pain was caused,” he said.
Ne-Yo clarified, however, that he does still play Kelly’s records “from time to time”, declaring that “you just can’t deny the quality”.
“I have always been a person that can separate the artist from the art,” Ne-Yo told the publication. “I don’t give a damn about your personal life, I don’t give a damn about what you’ve done wrong, or what you’ve done right – if I like the song, and it’s attached to a memory that means something to me, it has nothing to do with [the artist] as a person any more. It’s what this song means to me.”
Ne-Yo went on to say that he’s received backlash from acquaintances over his continued fandom of Kelly, noting: “I’ve been in parties where someone will turn on an R. Kelly record, and people will be like ‘Boo!’ That’s [bullshit], because you know good and well that before this happened, you’d be rocking out to this song, just like everybody else.
“Anybody who tries to say R. Kelly isn’t one of the best songwriters on the face of the planet because of what he did in his personal life, you’re looking at the wrong thing.”
Kelly is still set to stand trial in Chicago federal court on counts of child pornography and obstruction, and various other charges in Illinois and Minnesota.
Ne-Yo explains why he still listens to R. Kelly:
“Anybody who tries to say R Kelly isn’t one of the best songwriters on the face of the planet because of what he did in his personal life, you’re looking at the wrong thing.” https://t.co/b5CCMyQBN0 pic.twitter.com/2eHvJFCngy
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) July 16, 2022