R&B star's music gets a traffic boost, while two radio stations ban his music. Plus, see which celebrity is trashing the parents who participated in "Surviving R. Kelly."
UPDATED 10:27 a.m. on 1/18/19
Billboard reported Friday morning that R. Kelly and Sony Music have agreed to part ways in wake of all of the backlash that has followed Lifetime's "Surviving R. Kelly." TooFab has reached out to the label for confirmation and will update this article if they respond.
UPDATED 7:23 a.m. on 1/18/19
Another woman is coming forward with accusations of sexual assault against R. Kelly. Her full testimony will appear on "Dateline NBC's 'Accused: The R. Kelly Story'" Friday night, but a preview of her interview aired on the "Today" show Friday morning.
Tracy Sampson, who interned for Kelly at Epic Records in 1999, claims to have had a two-year relationship with the R&B singer when she was 16.
"I was in love with him. I just didn't know what to do. Like, I didn't know if this was normal," Sampson said tearfully. "I didn't know if this is how adults acted. Like, I -- I just didn't know. I didn't know."
She recalled a specific incident, where she alleges Kelly said to her, "'Well, can I kiss you?' And I was like, 'No.' He's like, 'Okay, well, give me a hug.' And then, like, when I gave him a hug, he just started kissing me."
Sampson says she managed to break things off with Kelly when she was 18. She filed a lawsuit against the singer, accusing him of sexual abuse. Kelly denied having sex with Sampson but settled out of court with her for $250,000.
In the same "Dateline" interview, Kelly's attorney, Steve Greenberg, responded to the question of whether his client believes all his accusers are lying: "Every one of them, yes."
"The record companies are abandoning him," Greenberg said. "Other artists are all of a sudden acting like they're shocked by these rumors that are floating around. He's having a very difficult time, but he's strong, he's tough. He wants to put out his music and continue performing for people. And I expect that's what he'll be able to do."
"Dateline NBC's 'Accused: The R. Kelly Story'" airs Friday, January 18 at 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. CT.
UPDATED 1:50 a.m. on 1/14/19
R. Kelly's application to appear as host of the Spring Break Jam concert has been denied by his home state of Illinois. The Chicago Tribute reports that festival organizers have denied the denial is because of the docuseries, citing security concerns.
And those concerns are specifically based on protests organized by the #MuteRKelly movement -- particularly those outside his studio in Chicago -- that are a direct result of "Surviving R. Kelly."
Kelly has already been evicted from the Chicago warehouse studio that appeared in the series and that he allegedly had young women living in. The city intends to conduct an inspection of the facility, which Vulture reports is now empty, to see if it was improperly converted into and used as a residence without obtaining the appropriate permits.
If so, Kelly could be found in violation of city zoning laws and face fines of up to $1,000 per day per violation. Considering the docuseries alleges that women had been living inside the studio for years, that could potentially be a massive bill.
TMZ is also reporting that Kelly's record label, RCA/Sony, has put a hold on releasing any new music from the singer until all investigations related to the docuseries are complete, including criminal investigation in Atlanta, Georgia.
The label is also reportedly withholding any funding for music-related project and videos. Kelly is still under contract to produce two more albums for RCA. The move came shortly after a women's rights group flew a banner over Sony's offices with the message, "RCA/Sony: Drop Sexual Predator R Kelly," as reported by New York's ABC7. It is unclear if that protest had any impact on the label's decision.
UPDATED 9:20 a.m. on 1/11/19
Lady Gaga has followed through on her promise to remove her R. Kelly collaboration, "Do What U Want," from iTunes and streaming services. TooFab previously reported the 2013 track was rising on the iTunes charts Thursday in wake of the pop star vowing to delete it from digital consumption.
UPDATED 7:00 a.m. on 1/11/19
Lisa Van Allen, who is featured in the Lifetime documentary and used to be in a relationship with R. Kelly, is set to appear on Jada Pinkett's "Red Table Talk" on Friday, January 11. The Facebook Live show released a preview clip hours ahead of the episode airing.
In the clip, Van Allen talks with Jada, Willow Smith and Dr. Candice Norcott about why she stayed with the controversial singer for as long as she did.
"People say, 'Once they found out she was 14, why didn't you turn him in?' Because I loved him. I wanted to help him get better first because that's how we work as far as love goes," Van Allen says referencing disturbing allegations against the R&B star. Kelly has vehemently denied these claims and has so far not been convicted of any crimes related to these allegations.
"I'm not going to call the cops on someone I love," she continues. "I'm going to try to figure out how to help you and what I can do to save you."
The turning point, however, came later: "Once I realized he couldn't be saved -- he didn't want to be saved -- he would tell me things like, 'My mama told me if you love a man, you don't try to change him.' The older I got, it was like, 'Boy, that's some bull.'"
While allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse with women and underage girls have plagued Kelly for years, he has continued to deny everything and has never been convicted of any wrongdoing. The R&B singer threatened to sue Lifetime if they aired the series, but the network did not back down. According to TMZ, Kelly was "disgusted" by the series, which he didn't watch.
The first two hours that aired Jan. 3 covered Kelly's upbringing through the mid-'90s, offering unsettling stories from women speaking out about their alleged experiences with the "Pied Piper of R&B." On Jan. 4, it was all about his child pornography trial, and on Jan. 5's final two installments, Lifetime focused on the singer's alleged "sex cult."
If you're not caught up on the revelations and allegations covered in the limited series, give TooFab's full breakdowns for all three nights a read. Once you're caught up, proceed to the latest developments. We'll continue to update this article as more arise.
One of Kelly's estranged children, Buku Abi, has released a statement condemning his alleged behavior.
"To the people that feel I should be speaking up/against everything that is going on right now. I just want you all know understand that devestated is an understatement for all that I currently feel," she wrote in a lengthy Instagram Story post. "I do apologize if my silence to all that is happening comes off as careless. That is my last intention. I pray for all the families & women who have been affected by my father's actions. Trust, I have been deeply affected by all of his."
"Anyone that knows me personally or has been following me throughout the years knows that I do not have a relationship with my father," she added. "Nor do I speak on him or on his behalf. I also am not fond of dealing with my personal issues or personal life experience through social media but I feel things are starting to get out of hand. Unfortunately for my own personal reasonings & for all my family has endured in regards to him, his life decisions, and his last name, it has been years since my siblings and I have seen or have spoken to him... My mother, siblings, and I would never condone, support or be apart of ANYTHING negative he has done and or continues to do in his life."
Abi, who is a singer herself, is based in Miami, Florida. We couldn't immediately verify her age, but one blog promoting her music wrote that she is 20.
Read her full statement in the screen grabs below.
Lady Gaga's Song with R. Kelly Climbs the Charts
Late Wednesday night, Lady Gaga apologized for her 2013 collaboration with R. Kelly, "Do What U Want" -- vowing to remove the track from iTunes and other streaming services. But currently, it's still available.
The song is now No. 15 on iTunes, up from No. 38 since 7:30 PT this morning. The track wasn't in the Top 200 at all before today, which means both Gaga and Kelly are still making money off the track.
Reps for Gaga and iTunes have not yet responded to TooFab's request for comment.
Docuseries Sparks Gain in R. Kelly Music Streams
It's not just Gaga's song gaining traction, either. Since the airing of the docuseries, R. Kelly's music soared across streaming platforms.
According to Billboard, Kelly's music rose 116 percent from the day before the series began to the last day it aired. On Jan. 2, Kelly had 1.9 million streams (audio and video combined). By Jan. 5, that number had risen to 4.3 million.
Two radio stations in Dallas, Texas -- KRNB and K104 -- have declared a ban on R. Kelly's music in the wake of the allegations made against the singer.
"Smooth R&B 105.7 [KRNB] and K104 [KKDA] made the decision to drop R. Kelly's music from our playlists due to the outpouring of concern from our listeners regarding Kelly's alleged sexual assaults of underage girls," Service Broadcasting Corporation said in a statement. "There are no immediate plans to drop music from any other artists."
Claudia Jordan -- host of KRNB's morning show and former "Real Housewives of Atlanta" star -- even interrupted one of Kelly's songs live on air to say the following: "I just feel like, in good conscience, we just can't continue to support this guy. Sadly, there are a lot of people out there and what they do in their work -- they are talented people -- but they have demons. And I feel like, as a woman that is an advocate for other women ... we cannot support this man anymore. I've been a victim of abuse from a man, and it wasn't as extreme as this, but reading all the comments, we have to at some point take a stance."
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Why Questlove Declined to Participate
TooFab previously reported that "Surviving R. Kelly" executive producer Dream Hampton rattled off a long list of celebrities who declined to participate in the film, and one of those was Roots and "Tonight Show" drummer Questlove.
In a since-deleted tweet, he explained why. "I always thought Kels was trash. My reason for declining the R. Kelly docu that I support 10,000,000 percent is I didn't wanna be in the 'good times' portion of the doc, like stanning [or, being an overzealous fan] for his 'genius.' I was asked to talk about his genius. I do not nor have I EVER stanned for him."
But Hampton took issue with Questlove's story and retweeted his comment ahead of the premiere last Thursday. "I didn't ask you about his 'genius,'" she tweeted, according to a screenshot captured by Vibe. "I've never thought he was a genius. I asked you to come on camera and say the same thing you said on Twitter. I told you I need Black male allies."
There is no shortage of celebrities condemning R. Kelly after watching the docuseries, but rapper Master P chose to bash the parents of the alleged victims who chose to participate.
"I don't know if R. Kelly did it or not, that ain't my business, I ain't judging, but I'm just saying those parents shouldn't have let that go that far," the rapper said in a two-part Instagram video rant, which you can watch for yourself below.
He described the docuseries as a "reality show" and criticized the parents who appeared on it to speak about losing their daughters to Kelly's alleged "sex cult." Mater P felt they should have taken more serious action.
"I ain't gonna be on no reality show on Lifetime. I'm gonna be on CNN. Straight up," he said. "It's gonna get real. I'm not about to play with nobody."
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