Protesters to Lobby R. Kelly Concert

R&B singer R. Kelly’s upcoming concert at the Forum Arena in Inglewood, CA will be protested by several black activist, reports the LA Times. Jasmyne Cannick and others will station themselves across the street Friday night to picket the entertainer. “It’s like pulling teeth to get people to talk about this,” Cannick said. “It’s a challenge to get the black community to even discuss it. . . . They’re acting like he doesn’t have 14 counts of child pornography against him. . . . We’re all acting like we don’t have daughters and nieces and little sisters.” On the contrary, Derrell McDavid, Kelly’s manager says there has been no protest on the tour. “It’s just been a warm embrace and sold-out shows,” says McDavid. (The Thursday show at Honda Center in Anaheim, however, has been called off due to sluggish sales, and refunds are being offered.) On Tuesday, a group of protesters gathered at the Forum to call on the venue’s owner, the Faithful Central Bible Church, to call off the show. In 2005, the church canceled a performance by a heavy-metal band that Chief Operating Officer Marc Little said was “antithetical to our beliefs.” Little and other Forum executives did not return calls Tuesday. Cannick was not optimistic about her cause: “Everyone is making money, and everyone seems OK with him. People really need to wake up.” The criminal case is still winding through the courts after repeated delays, but Kelly’s career has not only endured, it has thrived. In 2002-2003, he had one of his biggest hits ever, “Ignition (Remix),” which kicked off a run of successful years. This year, “Double Up” became the fifth R. Kelly album to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, and he has just been nominated for two Grammys.


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