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UIC cancels R. Kelly concert amid backlash

A concert at the UIC Pavillon including R. Kelly was canceled after protests. | Sun-Times file photo

In 2015, R&B singer R. Kelly said on Huff Post Live that he ” … will continue to do my job until I get fired, and the only people who can fire me are my fans,” in response to the history of sexual allegations.

Some of the those fans, including UIC students and staff want to give the man nicknamed the “Pied Piper of R&B” his walking papers after a scheduled May 5 appearance at the UIC Pavillon by Kelly was cancelled, according to Ticketmaster.

The event info for the “Pre-Mother’s Day Love Jam” on Ticketmaster’s website states, “R. Kelly is no longer performing.”

UIC students, staff, activists, along with other concerned citizens circulated a Google document urging UIC chancellor Michael Amiridis to stop R. Kelly from performing.

The document, which shows a timeline of the Grammy Award-winning singer’s history of sexual misconduct dating back to 1994, states:

“As members of the UIC community – students, staff, faculty, and alumni – and as people committed to ending violence against women and girls, we are appalled at the decision of UIC Pavilion’s Director Kevin Scheibler to accept and promote this booking, given the extensive documentation of R. Kelly’s wrongdoings that exists in the public domain, and the robust debates and protests that accompany R. Kelly’s concerts.”

UIC’s Women’s Leadership and Resource Center posted a statement on Facebook in reaction to cancellation saying, ” Thank you for making your voice heard! It is official – R Kelly will not be performing at UIC on May 5. This is a victory for all of us, but especially for Black women and girls!”

The event cancellation comes after syndicated radio show host Tom Joyner announced that he will no longer play Kelly’s music after speaking with #MeToo founder Tarana Burke, along with Kelly’s lawyer, publicist and executive assistant announcing that they have severed ties with the R&B singer, according to several reports.


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