Erykah Badu took a moment during her concert last night at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago to say she’s “puttin’ up a prayer right now” for R. Kelly, TMZ points out. “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 said in the below video. “I hope he sees the light of day and comes forward.” She received a mixed reaction from the audience; both cheers and boos can be heard from the crowd.
“But y’all say ‘fuck it!’ See, that’s not love. That’s not unconditional. But what if one of the people that was assaulted by R. Kelly grows up to be an offender, we gonna crucify them? I mean how do we do this? Just something to think about.”
“They ’bout to R. Kelly me to death on the internet, I’m like god damn,” she said. She then called for “peace” and “healing for those who were hurt, because everybody involved has been hurt and victimized in some kind of way.”
On Sunday night, Badu tweeted in response to the backlash she faced for the quotes on social media. “I love you. Unconditionally. That doesn’t mean I support your poor choices,” she wrote. “That’s all I’ve ever said. Anything else has been fabricated or taken out of context.”
At the 2015 Soul Train Awards, Badu introduced Kelly and said that he “has done more for black people than anyone” despite his history of alleged abuse. Last year, she gave a controversial in-depth interview with David Marchese where she discussed XXXTentacion, Bill Cosby, and Hitler. “I see good in everybody,” she said. “I saw something good in Hitler…Hitler was a wonderful painter.”
The night the Lifetime docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly” premiered, it was revealed that Badu was among the several musicians that reportedly turned down the opportunity to be in the production. JAY-Z, Dave Chappelle, Questlove, and others also declined interviews.
“Surviving R. Kelly” featured interviews with women like Kelly’s ex-wife Andrea Kelly and Kitti Jones who have accused Kelly of abuse. Phoenix and Lady Gaga have apologized for working with Kelly in the past. Chance the Rapper, who gave an interview for the docuseries, said his collaboration with Kelly “was a mistake.” After the series aired, R. Kelly has denied all allegations of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls. He is no longer signed to Sony Music and RCA.
This article was originally posted on January 20 at 4:54 p.m. Eastern. It was last updated on January 20 at 8:56 p.m. Eastern.