R. Kelly will no longer perform at Illinois’ Spring Break Jam concert due to “security issues,” adding another concert to his cancelled list of shows in an effort to mute the R&B singer.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the concert was supposed to take place on April 6 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, but the application to lease space at the grounds had been under review. Illinois Department of Agriculture spokeswoman Denise Albert said the organizers were already promoting the event although they had just submitted an application. Tickets were starting at $75.
However, the cancellation was due to security concerns from protests. Last week, a protest was held outside of Kelly’s Chicago studio in light of the Lifetime documentary “Surviving R. Kelly,” which aired two weeks ago. The docu-series delved into Kelly’s long history of sexual assault allegations, sparking a nationwide conversation which led to a criminal investigation of the singer.
While Albert said the cancellation was not in response to the series, there are foreseeable problems with security at the venue. The #MuteRKelly movement has been working for months to shut down Kelly’s shows throughout the country, successfully cancelling shows at the University of Illinois – Chicago and New York City’s Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden. Albert said the event could be reconsidered for approval in the future, but not with Kelly on the bill.
Although Kelly is currently under investigation for over two decades worth of sexual assault allegations, including holding a “sex cult” in his Atlanta home, he has denied all allegations and is continuing to release music.
Artists have begun to speak out against the singer. As of last week, Lady Gaga removed her song “Do What U Want,” which was co-written by R. Kelly and featured on her ARTPOP album, from all streaming services.
“I stand behind these women 1000%, believe them, know they are suffering and in pain, and feel strongly that their voices should be heard and taken seriously,” Gaga said in a tweet. “What I am hearing about the allegations against R Kelly is absolutely horrifying and indefensible.”