Kelly, who is currently on tour promoting his soon to be released new album, The Buffet, came home to help raise money for McLin to keep her longtime home. McLin’s building will soon be converted to condos and the retired teacher’s pension was not enough to help her keep up the payments.
“On the first day I met her, Ms. McLin told me, ‘You’re going to be one of the greatest singers, songwriters and performers of all time,’” Kelly told the Chicago Sun-Times. “I thought the lady was crazy.”
In addition to Kelly, McLin has worked the likes of Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Da Brat, Jennifer Hudson, and Whitney Houston. The “Backyard Party” singer remembers the first time he performed live in front of an audience thanks to McLin’s encouragement and how it shifted his dreams from playing professional basketball to a career in music.
“I was like, ‘What’s going on? Why are these people screaming?’” he says. “I remember thinking I’d never gotten that kind of feeling on the basketball court. From that day, life as I knew it was never the same. I felt like Peter Parker bit by the spider, and I’ve been spraying webs ever since, thanks to Ms. McLin.”
Reports indicate that the benefit concert was a success with funds from Kelly’s performance in addition to a previously launched GoFundMe campaign totaling enough to pay the cost of the condo conversion, enabling McLin to keep her home.