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Erykah Badu angers Aragon fans with her R. Kelly empathy

Erykah Badu speaks during BET's Social Awards 2018 at Tyler Perry Studio in 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Erykah Badu speaks during BET's Social Awards 2018 at Tyler Perry Studio in 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. | Bennett Raglin/Getty Images

Singer Erykah Badu’s sympathetic words about R. Kelly drew boos at her Saturday night concert at the Aragon.

Fan video from the show, acquired by TMZ, depicts the outspoken star telling the crowd she is “puttin’ up a prayer right now for R.” Noting the recent Lifetime documentary on Kelly’s alleged abuse of young women, Badu says if he’s guilty, “I hope he sees the light of day and comes forward.”

An outcry of both cheers and boos results, and Badu replies that the reaction is “not love. That’s not unconditional.” She asks whether the sort of condemnation Kelly is receiving also is deserved if one of Kelly’s victims “grows up to be an offender? I mean, how do we do this?”

Known for soulful hits including “On & On” and “Bag Lady,” Badu has raised eyebrows before with her commiserative remarks about unpopular figures. “I see good in everybody,” she told Vulture last year, proceeding to find the bright sides of Adolph Hitler (“a wonderful painter”) and Bill Cosby (“If he’s sick, why would I be angry with him?”)