Erykah Badu Clarifies Her Comments After Offering Prayers and Love to R. Kelly at Chicago Concert
Erykah Badu appeared to support R. Kelly during a concert in Chicago on Saturday
Erykah Badu responded to criticism after she appeared to support R. Kelly onstage at a concert in Chicago on Saturday night. Her comments came amid abuse allegations that surround the R&B star following the broadcast of the Lifetime documentary Surviving R. Kelly earlier this month.
In a video of the concert obtained by TMZ, the singer, 47, says, “I’m sending a prayer right now for R,” referring to R. Kelly.
“I hope he sees the light of day if he’s done all those things that we’ve seen on TV and heard those ladies talk about,” she continued. “I hope he sees the light of day and comes forward.”
As the audience booed, Badu continued, “But y’all say f— it! That’s not love. That’s not unconditional love. But what if one of the people that was assaulted by R. Kelly grows up to be an offender themselves. We gonna crucify them? How do we do this? Just something to think about.”
Badu clarified her comments on Twitter, saying that reports of the night had taken her words “out of context.”
“I love you. Unconditionally. That doesn’t mean I support your poor choices,” she wrote. “I want healing for you and anyone you have hurt as a result of you being hurt. Is that strange to you?”
“That’s all I’ve ever said,” the singer finished. “Anything else has been fabricated or taken out of context.”
Reps for Badu did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
On Twitter, many fans replied to Badu’s tweet to voice their disappointment. One wrote in a series of messages, “Your use of the word ‘mistake’ is dismissive to the fact this man is a SERIAL abuser. That’s not a mistake, it’s a way of life & you have not denounced that way of life AT ALL.”
Another responded, saying, “Reducing decades of abuses and violence to poor choices is where you’re misstepping. Responding to such devastating circumstances requires a great amount of discernment and depth. I see where you’re coming from to an extent, not sure why ur loving on him instead of his prey.”
Surviving R. Kelly — which aired on Lifetime from Jan. 3 through Jan. 5 — featured wide-ranging interviews with Kelly’s family members, former friends and colleagues, but most notably, women who claim that for decades the hit-making singer and producer, 52, used his power and influence to sexually and physically abuse them and others.
Last week, it was reported that R. Kelly was been dropped by Sony Music, his longtime record label.
R. Kelly’s lawyer has denied the allegations. In an interview with the Associated Press, Chicago-based attorney Steve Greenberg called the documentary “disgusting” and claimed that producers told “disgruntled” women incriminating things to say about Kelly off camera in an effort to incriminate the Grammy winner.
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Producers of the film, however, denied the lawyer’s statement. “We are enormously proud of the series. The powerful stories from the women in the documentary speak for themselves,” they previously said in a statement to PEOPLE. “Their honesty and candor has resonated with millions of viewers.”
If you or someone you know think they are being abused, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY) now for anonymous, confidential help, available 24/7.