MusicR&B

Petition is sparked to remove R. Kelly from R&B music festival

R. Kelly may believe he can fly but he may soon be grounded with the outgoing petition to remove him from performing at the Orange County’s R&B festival, SOULQUARIUS, happening at The Observatory.

The petition comes in wake of Kelly’s long list of sexual and abuse allegations that includes several encounters with underage females circulating (and apparently not forgotten) in headlines, jokes and fresh memes since 2002.

But in a statement issued by the petition’s creator, New Yorker, Jamie Thompson, seems that the petition is just a start of a could be attempt in 2017 of permanently slamming the “closet” door shut on the four time Grammy winner as well as other musicians facing similar charges.  The statement can be read below:

The Observatory venue of Orange County released an awesome lineup for their SOULQUARIUS event February 18th, with the exception of R. Kelly. Despite an endless flood of abuse allegations and widespread knowledge of his notorious “romance” with the late singer Aaliyah, who was age 15 to his 27 years, Kelly has maintained a relatively successful career. It’s this sort of nonchalance and casual embrace of abusers that rests at the fulcrum of rape culture, violence against women, and in this case, misogynoir. 2017 is around the corner and many of us still have to look on in disgust as a proven predator, rapist, and serial abuser of young Black girls and women remains embraced in the world of music. Stop booking this man. Stop supporting this man. There’s great power in having a voice. Let’s send a message that the music is not “separate” and the abuse of girls and women is *never* okay, no matter who you are or how many timeless ballads you’ve contributed to the world.

So while Ja Rule and Ashanti, Brandy, DMX, Willow Smith, Monica, The Dream, and other Soul headliners prepare for the show on February 18, Kelly grows closer to clipping his wings as the petition approaches its 1500 required maker. However, although Thompson ensures that the petition will be sent to venue, The Observatory has kept their silence of potential actions in the circumstance that the remaining signatures are acquired.

The full “Kick R. Kelly’s rapist ass off the SOULQUARIUS lineup” petition can be viewed on the Change.org website.

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