R&B artist and rapper R. Kelly, most well-known for his 2002 hit, Ignition (Remix), has just cancelled at least three stops on his U.S. ‘After Party’ Tour with uncertainty about at least one more, according to billboard.com.
The confirmed cancellations are shows at UNO Lakefront Arena in New Orleans, LA on Friday, August 4, Raising Cane’s River Center Arena in Baton Rouge, LA on Saturday, August 12 and Music Hall At Fair Park in Dallas, TX on Sunday, August 13. Avclub.com reports that there is also speculation that the Friday, October 6 show at Microsoft Theatre LA Live in Los Angeles may be cancelled, as well.
This announcement follows a whirlwind of disturbing news stories alleging that the musician is emotionally manipulating a number of young women into an abusive “cult”, keeping them in his various properties and controlling every aspect of their lives in exchange for musical career gain- a claim that Kelly has since denied. A Buzzfeed article sparked the controversy, citing concerns from one of the young women’s parents as well as supporting claims from several former members of the star’s inner circle. Additional support from other parents and associates has not ceased since.
This is not the first time R. Kelly has been accused of sexual misconduct; he has made headlines more than a few times across the span of his career for engaging in sexual relationships with minors, most infamously the late singer-protégé Aaliyah. Chappelle’s Show riffed on the topic all the way back in 2003. (see below)
Specifically, the cancellations are said to be a result of low ticket sales following the allegations. Billboard reported that Kelly’s Friday night show at Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater in Virginia Beach appeared to be at below half-capacity. R. Kelly has not issued any statement on the cancelled shows or the remainder of the tour.