Time’s Up takes aim at R. Kelly over sex misconduct claims

Time’s Up campaign turns its attention to R. Kelly in wake of Cosby guilty verdict as R&B artist is removed from concert lineup over sexual abuse allegations

  • The R&B singer’s performance in Chicago was cancelled amidst allegations 
  • He apologized to his fans on social media Sunday after the cancellation
  • The Time’s Up campaign announced Monday if would focus on R. Kelly and called for further investigations into the singer 
  • The organization is supporting a social media campaign called #MuteRKelly, which has sought to stop his music from being played
  • R. Kelly has denied all allegations against him regarding sexual abuse  

The Time’s Up campaign is taking aim at R. Kelly over multiple allegations he has sexually abused women.

The organization devoted to helping women in the aftermath of sexual abuse issued a statement Monday urging further investigation into Kelly’s behavior, which has come under closer scrutiny over the last year as women have come forward to accuse him of everything from sexual coercion to physical abuse. Kelly has denied such charges.

‘We demand appropriate investigations and inquiries into the allegations of R. Kelly’s abuse made by women and their families for more than two decades now. And we declare with great vigilance and a united voice to anyone who wants to silence us – their time is up,’ the statement said.

This comes after the 51-year-old singer announced Sunday on Twitter that he has been removed from the lineup for a concert in his hometown of Chicago over allegations. But Kelly has never been convicted.

He said in a video: ‘I want to apologize to all of my fans in Chicago and basically all around the world wherever I’m performing at and they cancel me. I don’t know why they cancel the show. I’ve never heard of a show being cancelled because of rumors, but I guess it is the first time for everything.’

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The Time’s Up campaign is taking aim at R. Kelly over numerous allegations he has sexually abused women. Pictures is the R&B singer performing in June 2013

His performance at the 2018 Love Jam Concert in Chicago, Illinois, was cancelled by Ticketmaster last week amidst allegations. R. Kelly posted a video on Twitter and Instagram to explain why he was unhappy with the decision. Kelly is seen performing in February

The Chicago native was slated to perform in next Saturday’s 2018 Love Jam Concert at the UIC Pavillion, but Ticketmaster announced his exit earlier last week. 

‘In the meantime, I’m going to try and get to the bottom line of it,’ Kelly said. ‘I hope you guys don’t put that on me. It ain’t on me.’

The show will go on with a lineup including K. Michelle, Lyfe Jennings and Xscap3. But ticket-holders can request a refund if they would like. 

The Time’s Up movement is now targeting R. Kelly after Bill Cosby received a guilty verdict last week.

Their statement Monday was issued by the Women of Color committee within the organization, which includes Oscar-nominated director Ava DuVernay, TV mogul Shonda Rhimes and actress Jurnee Smollett-Bell.

A social media campaign #MuteRKelly has sought to stop his music from being played and to cancel his concerts, and Time’s Up said it is joining that call.

R. Kelly’s ex-girlfriend Kitti Jones (right) has told in a new documentary how he kept girls as young as 14 as sex ‘pets’ and trained them to perform oral sex on him and each other. Kelly is seen left performing in February

Jones, now 34, was never one of the ‘pets’. She was 27 when she and Kelly started dating in 2011 and claims he introduced her to them when she moved in to his home in Chicago but she was eventually forced to have sex with them, she says

Kelly, now 51, is seen above with his rumored girlfriend, 22-year-old Halle Calhoun, in October. He has denied every accusation of wrongdoing made by former girlfriends and ex-members of his entourage

Specifically, Time’s Up is seeking action from RCA Records, Kelly’s label; Spotify and Apple Music, which stream Kelly’s catalog; and Ticketmaster, which has sold tickets to his concerts. And it is calling for the cancellation of a May 11 concert in Greensboro, North Carolina.

RCA, Spotify, Apple Music and Ticketmaster didn’t immediately respond to email requests placed late Sunday night.

The Time’s Up letter was addressed to women of color. It started by saying, ‘We see you. We feel you. Because we are you.’

It continued: ‘For too long, our community has ignored our pain. The pain we bear is a burden that too many women of color have had to bear for centuries. The wounds run deep. As Women of Color within Time’s Up, we recognize we have a responsibility to help right this wrong. We intend to shine a bright light on our WOC sisters in need.’

Time’s Up cited Bill Cosby’s conviction last week for sexual assault as a step in the right direction but said it was ‘just a start.’

The singer has faced previous allegations of sex abuse. In 2008, he was acquitted on child pornography charges. Pictured is when he left the courthouse in June 2008 after the trial


1994 – R Kelly, then 27, married Aaliyah, who was 15 at the time

1996 – The singer is sued by Tiffany Hawkins for ‘personal injuries and emotional distress’. She claimed she began having sex with Kelly when she was just 15. The case was settled in 1998.

2001 – Kelly was sued by a former intern, Tracy Sampson, who accused him of inducing her into ‘an indecent sexual relationship’ when she was 17. The case was settled out of court.

2002 – The R&B artist is sued by two more women. Patrice Jones claimed he got her pregnant when she was 16 and Montina Woods accused him of filming them having sex without her consent. Both cases were settled out of court. 

In the same year, a video emerged that allegedly showed Kelly having sex with a 14-year-old girl.

Kelly was charged with making child pornography, but he was later found not guilty on all counts.

2017 – Kelly is accused of holding six women against their will at his properties in Chicago and the Atlanta.

One of the women, Joycelyn Savage, has denied she was being held against her will.

Jerhonda Pace and Kitti Jones also come forward, alleging they were abused by Kelly. The singer denies the allegations.

In a further statement to The Associated Press, Smollett-Bell said: ‘We stand linked with our sisters and will no longer tolerate the predatory behavior of R. Kelly to go unchecked. This is a call to action to #MuteRKelly. His music must be turned down and the voices of these brave survivors must be heard.’

R. Kelly, whose hits include ‘Ignition,’ ‘I Believe I Can Fly,’ ‘Step in the Name of Love,’ ‘Same Girl’ and ‘Bump N’ Grind,’ is one of pop music’s best-selling artists. 

He has also written hits for artists ranging from Celine Dion to Michael Jackson to Lady Gaga. While he’s written classic love songs and even gospel music, he is defined by sexually explicit songs such as ‘Feelin’ on Yo Booty,’ ‘Your Body’s Calling Me,’ ‘Sex Me’ and even more explicit fare.

He has long been accused of behavior that has ranged from questionable to criminal. He wed a 15-year-old Aaliyah in 1994. The late singer had been his protege, the marriage was later annulled and the two refused to confirm that it even happened.

He was later accused of child pornography after a widely circulated videotape appeared to show him having sex with, and urinating on, a teenage girl. He was acquitted of all charges in 2008 and continued to rack up hits and sell out stadiums around the country.

In recent years, as more women have come forward to allege misconduct, protests against Kelly have increased.

A woman told Rolling Stone last year that she was in a long-term relationship with the singer that was sexually and physically abusive. 

Parents claimed their daughter was being held by Kelly as part of a sex cult but their daughter, who was of age, denied their claims. And recently a woman in Dallas filed a lawsuit against the singer claiming he gave her a sexually transmitted disease, and she claimed he was grooming her to be a part of a sex cult.

Kelly has denied all allegations against him.

Kelly hasn’t released an album of new music since a 2016 Christmas album, and his last true album was 2015’s ‘The Buffet,’ which had no major hits.

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