On Saturday, veteran R&B/Soul artist Erykah Badu made a controversial statement while performing in concert.
During her performance at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago, Illinois, she reportedly told the crowd: “I don’t know how everybody else feel about it…I’m putting up a prayer right now for R… I hope he sees the light of day.”
Some members of the audience began booing, and Erykah continued: “What y’all say? F**k him? That’s not love. That’s not unconditional. What if one of the people that was assaulted by R. Kelly grows up to be an offender? We gonna crucify them? How we gonna do this? Just something to think about… they about to R. Kelly me on the Internet. Everybody involved has been hurt.”
Badu’s comments went viral, and she took to social media to clarify her remarks.
“I love you. Unconditionally. That doesn’t mean I support your poor choices.” she writes on Twitter. “I want healing for you and anyone you have hurt as a result of you being hurt. Is that strange to you? That’s all I’ve ever said. Anything else has been fabricated or taken out of context.”
The 47-year-old singer’s comments are outside of the norm since many of her peers have publicly chastised Kelly, who has been accused of sexual abuse by numerous women. Since the documentary, Surviving R. Kelly, his career has taken a downward turn after; he was also dropped by Sony Music.
It’s not the first time Erykah has pledged support for Kelly. In 2015, she introduced him to the stage at the Soul Train Awards, and commented that he had “done more for black people than anyone” – despite the questions that had started emerging about his behavior.
Erykah is no stranger to causing controversy with her comments, and previously faced backlash after she voiced her support for Bill Cosby, as he was awaiting trial on sexual assault charges, and even said she could see “something good” in murderous Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler.