Legend also reveals he never plays Kelly's music at parties.
John Legend says he decided to speak out about R. Kelly to give a voice to the "powerless" victims.
While appearing on "Real Time With Bill Maher" Friday night, the singer and late-night host discussed the #MeToo movement in the music industry and texplosive documentary series "Surviving R. Kelly," where many women shared their stories of alleged sexual abuse and underage sex with the controversial R&B singer.
"I think a lot of people have asked in the last few years, like, 'When is the #MeToo movement going to come to the music industry?'" Maher began. "I think what a lot of people are thinking is 'God that's so ubiquitous in the music industry, where would you even start?'"
"Yeah, I don't know," Legend replied. "I mean I think clearly we're having this conversation about R.Kelly, there's another article this week in The New York Times about another musician and so I think there's a conversation being had. I just think music is probably a bit more decentralized."
When it comes to R. Kelly, Legend was one of the biggest stars featured in the Lifetime documentary. The "All of Me" singer said the allegations against Kelly were "ignored" for so long because the victims were "pretty powerless" and didn't have people to speak up for them. This was the reason Legend got involved.
"That's really why I spoke up," Legend said. "I have friends who are activists that were speaking up for those victims and a lot of people were ignoring them."
He continued, "The guy who wrote about it in Chicago was saying, 'I learned as a white guy writing...I learned that black women are the least valued women in society because when I was writing about this no one cared, no one paid attention.' So these victims didn't have the power, didn't have the standing to get attention paid to what happened to them. And so it was good that this documentary paid proper attention to them."
Maher asked if it's allowed to still play R. Kelly's music at a party. "I actually, I don't play it," Legend calmly replied, as Maher added, "Me neither. Absolutely not, out of my iPod!"'