French indie pop band Phoenix have apologised for previously working with R Kelly following the release of docu-series Surviving R Kelly.
The series explored the true extent of allegations of sexual misconduct made against the R&B singer.
As a host of well-known names distance themselves from Kelly, Phoenix have followed suit and apologised for their past collaboration. In 2013 the band and Kelly joined forces for a remix of Bankrupt! song ‘Trying to Be Cool’. Also, in the same year, Phoenix were joined on stage at Coachella by Kelly.
Now, in a statement released on social media, the band said: “We are deeply horrified by the stories of abuse surrounding R. Kelly.”
The continued: “We regret that we were not both more informed and more discerning when we worked with him previously. We fully support all victims of sexual abuse, and it’s our hope that there will be a path to justice.”
With growing media attention around the docu-series, John Legend has branded R Kelly a “serial child rapist” as the reason for taking part in the film when so many people rejected the chance.
The film, which is being made by Lifetime, reached out to a number of well known names to take part but only Legend agreed. According to producer Dream Hampton, Mary J. Blige, Lil’ Kim, Dave Chappelle, Lady Gaga, and JAY-Z all passed on the chance to appear in the documentary. “I mean, most people just don’t want to touch it,” Hampton said.
As Kelly threatens legal action against the series, the first episode aired on Thursday and looks set to continue. One person who did not avoid the chance to take part was John Legend. Taking to social media, Legend explained how the decision was an easy one for him: “To everyone telling me how courageous I am for appearing in the doc, it didn’t feel risky at all,” he said.
“I believe these women and don’t give a fuck about protecting a serial child rapist. Easy decision.”
R Kelly himself even addressed controversial sexual misconduct allegations made against him on a bizarre new 19-minute song called ‘I Admit It’. Kelly first previewed the song on Instagram Live, saying: “I done made some mistake,” but then strongly denies sexual misconduct by adding: “How they gon’ say I don’t respect these women, when all I’ve done is represent (30 years)/ Take my career and turn it upside down, ’cause you mad I’ve got some girlfriends (girlfriends),” he sings.
Kelly’s music was also recently removed from playlists as part of a new public hate content and hateful conduct policy as fresh allegations claimed that the 51-year-old “knowingly and intentionally infected” a 19-year-old woman with an STD. On top of that, Far Out Magazine reported the claims laid out R Kelly groomed a 14-year-old girl to be his “fucking pet” and ordered her to crawl around and perform oral sex on him and others on request.