Event organizers have announced that R&B artist R. Kelly will no longer be performing at the Fashion Meets Music Festival (FMMF). R. Kelly was set to headline the event on August 29th, but 'mutually' agreed with festival organizers to step out of the lineup in the wake of protests over the performer's past legal troubles in connection with accusations of sexual impropriety with minors.
"Fashion Meets Music Festival and headlining artist R. Kelly have come to the mutual decision to cancel Kelly's upcoming performance at the inaugural Fashion Meets Music Festival," a statement from the event's organizers said.
The singer's rep added, "R. Kelly is sorry to disappoint his fans, but looks forward to seeing them in the near future during one of his upcoming tours."
Kelly's addition to the lineup drew criticism from a number of fronts, including local press, and a the withdrawal of a radio station sponsoring the event. As well, the Columbus-based folk rock group Saintseneca threatened to back out of their performance rather than share a bill with Kelly.
R. Kelly has had a number of alleged incidents involving underage women in the past. In 1994, he married his protégé Aaliyah, who was 15 at the time. The marriage was later annulled, with Aaliyah admitted in court documents that she had lied about her age.
R. Kelly was also sued by a woman in 1996 who claimed the singer had started having sexual relations with her when she was 15. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Kelly settled the case for $250,000. In 2002, Kelly was also hit with criminal charges in connection to a video that surfaced which appeared to show the singer engaged in sexual activity with a female minor. However, after a much-delayed trial where the female participant refused to testify against Kelly, he was acquitted of all charges in 2008. - Staff Writers