In the weeks since ‘Surviving R Kelly’ aired in the US, numerous famous faces have spoken out against the singer.
The six-part docuseries lifted the lid on the growing number of sexual assault and misconduct allegations against the 52-year-old over the past two decades, with the women concerned detailing their experiences.
The singer has previously been subject of sexual impropriety allegations and in 2008, he stood trial on child pornography charges, of which he was acquitted.
The 52-year-old has consistently denied any wrongdoing.
But in light of the docuseries, the list of celebrities who have condemned him has grown significantly.
Here are 10 who have spoken out against him in recent months…
John first offered his support to R Kelly’s accusers nearly a year ago, backing the women of Time’s Up when they published a takedown of the singer.
He then then appeared the documentary, condemning R Kelly for having “brought so much pain to so many people” and earning praise from fans who were pleased he had spoken out while numerous stars sidestepped appearing.
In response to this, John tweeted: “To everyone telling me how courageous I am for appearing in the doc, it didn’t feel risky at all.
“I believe these women and don’t give a fuck about protecting a serial child rapist. Easy decision.”
In early January 2019, Gaga reflected on her decision to collaborate with R Kelly on the track ‘Do What U Want (With My Body)’ in 2013.
At the time, the track was marred with controversy when the video (shot by problematic director Terry Richardson) was pulled allegedly due to fears over a negative response to incredibly suggestive sex scenes.
In a lengthy statement shared on Twitter on 10 January, Gaga wrote that the title of the track made it “clear how explicitly twisted my thinking was at the time”.
“If I could go back and have a talk with my younger self, I’d tell her to go through the therapy I have since then, so that I could understand the confused, post-traumatic state that I was in – or if therapy was not available to me or anyone in my situation – to seek help, and speak as openly and honestly as possible about what we’ve been through,” she said.
“I can’t go back, but I can go forward, and continue to support women, men, and people of all sexual identities, and of all races, who are victims of sexual assault.”
Gaga also promised to orchestrate the removal of the track from streaming services.
Christina praised Gaga for “doing the right thing” in speaking out, sharing a picture of herself and Gaga performing their alternative version of ‘Do What U Want’, which was released a few months after the original.
“This is a reminder of women sticking together— and not letting a man take ownership of a great song/moment,” she wrote on Instagram. “If anything the message of this song remains that although you may have had my body, you will never have my heart, my voice my life or my mind.
“Being a survivor of past predators myself, these lines spoke to me, which is why I did the song. I embrace all survivors of sexual and domestic violence and abuse holding a special place in my heart, and you @ladygaga, for doing the right thing!”
Sharing a screengrab of John Legend’s tweet on Instagram, Cara told her followers that she was “so shocked and outraged” by the stories in the ‘Surviving R Kelly’ documentary.
“My heart goes out to all the victims of his emotional and physical abuse and their families,” she wrote, accusing R Kelly of being “a predator that feeds of power and in my opinion is far worse than Harvey Weinstein and needs to be held accountable”.
“We have ourselves to blame in this situation, I knew of the allegations but failed to try and understand the severity of the situation,” she wrote. “I still continued to listen to his music.
“Stop separating art from the artist, just because he sings like an angel, doesn’t mean he is one. I still want to applaud @johnlegend @keke @vincestaples @chancetherapper @jadapinkettsmith @ladygaga for continuing the conversation.
“I really hope that more musicians stand up against this monster #MuteRKelly #MeToo #blackgirlslivesmatter.”
Chance The Rapper
Chance was one of the only other internationally-recognisable stars to appear in the documentary, doing so in the form of a voice message that saw him apologise for collaboration with the singer.
Admitting that he knew of the accusations when he teamed up with R Kelly in 2015, Chance mused: “Maybe I didn’t care because I didn’t value the accusers’ stories because they were black women.
“Usually, n***** that get in trouble for shit like this on their magnitude of celebrity, it’s light-skinned women or white women. That’s when it’s a big story.
“I’ve never really seen any pictures of R. Kelly’s accusers.”
The rapper then drew criticism for his comments which led to him sharing a second statement on Twitter, saying his quote had been “taken out of context”.
“The truth is any of us who ever ignored the R Kelly stories, or ever believed he was being setup [or] attacked by the system (as black men often are) were doing so at the detriment of black women and girls,” he wrote. “I apologise to all of his survivors for working with him and for taking this long to speak out.”
Tweeting that she was “proud” of husband John for taking part in the documentary, Chrissy said she wished she was as eloquent as her husband before writing “Fuck R Kelly” and adding ”#MuteRKelly”.
Jada Pinkett Smith And Willow Smith
Jada and her 18-year-old daughter Willow had a frank discussion about R Kelly on her Facebook Watch series ’Red Table Talk’, where they were joined by survivor and docuseries participant Lisa Van Allen and her daughter Akeyla.
The episode saw Jada reflect specifically on R Kelly’s marriage to Aaliyah, which took place when the ‘Rock The Boat’ singer was underage.
“I remember you would hear whispers of stuff, but you know, you’d go, oh she’s making hit songs, she must be OK,” Willow added.
“What made me start crying was I had listened to Aaliyah and had known about R Kelly and listened to his music when I was super young.
“I had an inkling that he was slightly sus. It just hit me so hard when I was watching [the documentary].
“Seeing him in the back of that ‘Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number’ album cover. Something from my childhood was just debased.”
The US comedian thanked ‘Surviving R Kelly’ producer Dream Hampton for “shining a bright light on the predation of R. Kelly”.
She also criticised gossip site TMZ when they published a story that appeared to be an attempt to discredit three of the women who’d spoken out against R Kelly.
Accusing the site’s journalists of being “shills” for the singer, she questioned who they were obtaining their information from.
Ne-Yo kept his message simple, calling for people not to play R Kelly’s music anymore but uploading an image to Instagram that simply read: “#MuteRKelly”.
“There is NO excuse,” he wrote in the caption. “Music is important. It really is. But it’s not more important than protecting our children, protecting our little girls. PERIOD.”
French band Phoenix are another act who have apologised for collaborating with R Kelly, having worked with him and invited him to share the stage with them at Coachella in 2013.
“We are deeply horrified by the stories of abuse surrounding R. Kelly,” they tweeted. “We regret that we were not both more informed and more discerning when we worked with him previously.
“We fully support all victims of sexual abuse, and it’s our hope that there will be a path to justice.”