Erykah Badu Offers ‘Prayer’ for R. Kelly During Chicago Show

Erykah Badu is sparking controversy following her remarks about R. Kelly.

While on stage at Aragon Ballroom in Chicago on Saturday (Jan. 19), Badu stopped her performance to address R. Kelly amid accusations made against the R&B singer in Lifetime’s “Surviving R. Kelly” docuseries.

“I don’t know how everybody else feel about it, but I’m sending up a prayer right now for R,” she told the crowd. “I hope he sees the light of day if he done all the things that we’ve seen on TV.”

The comments did not go over well with most of the audience, who boo’d and chanted “Fuck R. Kelly.” In response to the disapproval, Badu told the crowd: “That’s not love. It’s not unconditional love.”

She continued to share sympathy for Kelly, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by numerous women. “What if one of the people that was assaulted by R. Kelly grows up to be an offender?” she asked. “We gon’ crucify them? How do we do this? Just something to think about.”

After the boos mounted, Badu realized that her comments would go viral. “They about to R. Kelly me to death on the internet. Oh my God,” she continued. “They about to build a wall to death. I just want peace in life for everybody and healing for everyone. Healing for those who were hurt, ’cause everybody involved has been hurt, victimized in some kind of way.”

Her remarks set off a firestorm on social media. In response to the backlash, Badu took to Twitter to clarify. “I love you. Unconditionally,” she tweeted. “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.”

This is not the first time Badu has spoken out about R. Kelly. In 2015, she introduced the singer at the Soul Train Awards, where she said he “has done more for black people than anyone,” according to SPIN.

She has also made headlines in the past for her controversial remarks about Adolf Hitler. During an interview with Vulture, she sympathized with the Nazi leader. “I’m not an anti-Semitic person,” she said. “I don’t even know what anti-Semitic was before I was called it. I’m a humanist. I see good in everybody. I saw something good in Hitler.”


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