Erykah Badu was booed by concertgoers on Saturday night, as she told them she was “praying” for embattled singer R. Kelly.
Kelly has been accused of sexual abuse by numerous women, who detailed their stories in recent documentary Surviving R. Kelly.
While the majority of Kelly’s peers have publicly slated him, and his career has taken a downward turn after he was dropped by Sony Music, soul singer Erykah had a different take on the scandal.
As she performed at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago, Illinois, she told the crowd: “I don’t know how everybody else feel about it…I’m putting up a prayer right now for R… I hope he sees the light of day.”
When the audience began booing, Erykah continued: “What y’all say? Fuck him? That’s not love. That’s not unconditional. What if one of the people that was assaulted by R. Kelly grows up to be an offender? We gonna crucify them? How we gonna do this? Just something to think about… they about to R. Kelly me on the Internet. Everybody involved has been hurt.”
It’s not the first time Erykah has courted controversy – she previously showed her support to comedian Bill Cosby. When asked for her views on The Cosby Show star, who was at the time awaiting trial on a sexual assault charge, she replied: “I love Bill Cosby, and I love what he’s done for the world. But if he’s sick, why would I be angry with him? Hurt people hurt people.”
Cosby has since been convicted and sent to prison.
Erykah even stated during an interview last year (18) that she saw “something good” in Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler. Her remarks led to widespread backlash, and while she issued a clarification following the controversy, she insisted she wasn’t ashamed of her comments and refused to disown them.
“I don’t regret anything,” she told British newspaper The Guardian. “I don’t like to make people feel uncomfortable or bad. But people are very sensitive in this climate… I’m sorry that it was misunderstood. But not sorry for saying it because it was from a place of love.”
I love you. Unconditionally.
That doesn’t mean I support your poor choices.
I want healing for you and anyone you have hurt as a result of you being hurt. Is that strange to you ?
That’s all I’ve ever said. Anything else has been fabricated or taken out of context. – eb
— ErykahBadoula (@fatbellybella) January 21, 2019