Despite having previously joined in on 2019’s #MuteRKelly movement, Ne-Yo revealed that he hasn’t boycotted the singer entirely. In a recent interview with The Independent, he admitted he still listens to the convicted felon’s songs.
“I have always been a person that can separate the artist from the art,” he said. “I don’t give a damn about your personal life, I don’t give a damn about what you’ve done wrong, or what you’ve done right—if I like the song, and it’s attached to a memory that means something to me, it has nothing to do with [the artist] as a person anymore. It’s what this song means to me.”
He continued, “I’ve been in parties where someone will turn on an R. Kelly record, and people will be like ‘Boo!’ That’s bullshit, because you know good and well that before this happened, you’d be rocking out to this song, just like everybody else. From time to time, I still listen to R. Kelly music; you just can’t deny the quality. Anybody who tries to say R. Kelly isn’t one of the best songwriters on the face of the planet because of what he did in his personal life, you’re looking at the wrong thing.”
His latest comments come after he openly slammed R. Kelly in 2019. “There is NO excuse,” Ne-Yo wrote at the time. “Music is important. It really is. But it’s not more important than protecting our children, protecting our little girls. PERIOD. #IHaveADaughter #TF!?? #MUTERKELLY.”
Ne-Yo previously claimed that if women want to stop being referred to as “bitches,” then they should stop dancing to “misogynistic” music.
“It’s gotten super misogynistic, which I don’t understand,” the singer said while a guest on The Cruz Show. “And mind you, I can only blame us men halfway for that. Because as a woman, if a man sings the word ‘bitch’ to you and you smile at him, then he’s probably going to do it again.”
Ne-Yo’s recent R. Kelly comments come as the “So Sick” singer continues to promote his latest album Self-Explanatory, which dropped on Friday.
“You know while some people were finding all these new motivations and learning how to do things over the pandemic I was honestly just sitting around with my kids waiting to find out if we was gonna die in a week,” Ne-Yo told TMZ Live about the album. “It was really just that and that definitely takes a toll on creativity.”