The Columbus, OH Buckeyes recently banded together to treat R. Kelly like Chris Hanson would, should they ever meet.
Kelly was slated to headline Fashion Meets Music Festival in all his Pied Piper glory, but the singer’s past, which involves several allegations of inappropriate relationships with children, was too much to bear for concertgoers and they had him cut from the lineup altogether.
Reports The Columbus-Dispatch:
“We wanted to make sure we heard the Columbus listeners … to make a statement and support the city we live in,” said festival spokeswoman Melissa Dickson, who added that a public-relations firm is helping the event repair its image.
The decision to pull Kelly’s Nationwide show on Aug. 29 came late last week after Saintseneca, a Columbus band also set to play the festival, announced plans to cancel because of Kelly’s appearance. WCBE (90.5 FM) withdrew its sponsorship shortly after.
Those departures were preceded by a local duo, Damn the Witch Siren, which on July 3 abandoned their festival appearance because of Kelly’s history, which includes a 2008 acquittal on 14 counts of child pornography and a Chicago Sun-Times investigation linking the Grammy winner to underage girls.
Organizers of the Fashion Meets Music Festival, which is to take place in and around the Arena District on Aug. 29-31, issued a brief announcement last night via Facebook and Twitter to say the artist and event have “parted ways.”
Although Kellz has remained mum on the announcement, his publicist sent out a vague, indirect statement saying, “R. Kelly is sorry to disappoint his fans but looks forward to seeing them in the near future during one of his upcoming tours.”