On Friday night, the 50-year-old R&B singer performed a concert in Virginia Beach, West Virginia, where he encouraged audience members to rub him down and grope his crotch. He told the crowd he was advised to tone the show down, but declined as he wanted to give the fans a typical R. Kelly performance.
“I don’t want to offend nobody, but like I told them, ‘I’m a grown-ass man,’” he said on stage. “I told them, ‘They hired R. Kelly, so I got to do the R. Kelly show.’ It’s just what it is. It’s all entertainment, y’all. Don’t get caught up in it […] So, for those of you who don’t agree with my show, […] y’all better leave right now, because it’s about to get freakier than a motherfucker.”
The show was R. Kelly’s first live performance since he was accused of leading a “cult” that brainwashed and sexually abused young women. TMZ reports ticket sales for Friday’s concert were, unsurprisingly, low, with about half of the 20,000 seats left unfilled just hours he stepped on stage.
Prior to the concert, the R. Kelly released a video in which personally addressed the cult accusations for the first time.
“I just want to let my fans know, despite all of the crap y'all hearing, I will be coming to the East Coast to do my show,” he said. “And believe me y’all, it’s a bunch of crap.”
One of R. Kelly’s alleged captives Jocelyn Savage has publicly defended the singer, insisting she was not being held against her will. Savage’s parents made the cult allegations in an explosive BuzzFeed report earlier this month. Despite their daughter’s requests, they’ve continued to accuse R. Kelly of holding Savage hostage.
“He doesn’t let them get away,” the woman’s mother, Jonjelyn Savage, told V-103. “He basically isolates them from the world.”
R. Kelly is set to perform at the Westchester County Center in White Plains, New York Sunday night.