Enough people in Columbus, Ohio complained over the inclusion of R. Kelly in an upcoming Labor Day concert that organizers swiftly cut him from the lineup.
The crooner has performed and even headlined music festivals after his controversial legal battles, but his announced involvement in the first ever Fashion Meets Music Festival was met with an overwhelmingly negative response from residents and local musicians. So, the organizers of the have decided to cancel Kelly’s performance.
Organizers posted a message on Facebook that said that the two sides “parted ways.” In addition, Kelly’s rep sent a statement to USA Today, which read, “R. Kelly is sorry to disappoint his fans but looks forward to seeing them in the near future during one of his upcoming tours.”
After Kelly was named the headliner of the festival, which starts on Aug. 29, residents of the area took to social media to complain about the pick. Many brought up his 2002 indictment on child pornography charges, even though he was found not guilty in 2008. There were also reports by the Chicago Sun-Times back in 2000 that showed his link to pursuing relationships with young teen girls.
Despite that history, Kelly has remained a force in the music industry, earning headlining gigs at Bonnaroo and Pitchfork last year. But even Columbus bands objected to his appearance. According to the Columbus Dispatch, local bands Saintseneca and Damn the Witch Siren both pulled out.
The rest of the headlining acts for the Fashion Meets Music Festival are O.A.R., Michelle Williams, Destructo and Paper Diamond.