Ne-Yo now admits that he listens to R. Kelly after posting #MuteRKelly in 2019

The musical hitmaker justifies listening to R. Kelly from ‘time to time’
Ne-Yo now admits that he listens to R. Kelly after posting #MuteRKelly in 2019
R. Kelly (Photo credit: Bang Media)

Ne-Yo reversed course and admited that he’s still a fan of R. Kelly’s music and tends to listen to the convicted sex offender’s tunes from “time to time.”

The singer and prolific songwriter and producer made the admission to The Independent during an interview to promote his newly-released album, Self-Explanatory. This stance represents a starkly different position from 2019 when he posted the hashtag #MuteRKelly back in 2019.

The 42-year-old “Because of You” artist, who was born in Atlanta as Shaffer Chimere Smith, took pains to offer his sympathy to the scores of victims of R. Kelly’s predatory sexual deviancy. Robert Sylvester Kelly, 55, has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for his criminality in a federal court in New York. He is now facing a litany of similar charges related to chronic sexual impropriety in a state trial in Chicago.

“I pray this gives everybody who feels they were victimized by him a little bit of closure, on whatever pain was caused,” he told the publication. 

Ne-Yo said he can’t resist listening to Kelly’s records “from time to time,” saying that “you just can’t deny the quality”.

“I have always been a person that can separate the artist from the art,” Ne-Yo told the publication. “I don’t give a damn about your personal life, I don’t give a damn about what you’ve done wrong, or what you’ve done right – if I like the song, and it’s attached to a memory that means something to me, it has nothing to do with [the artist] as a person anymore. It’s what this song means to me.”

“I’ve been in parties where someone will turn on an R. Kelly record, and people will be like ‘Boo!’ That’s [bullshit], because you know good and well that before this happened, you’d be rocking out to this song, just like everybody else,” Ne-Yo said. 

“Anybody who tries to say R. Kelly isn’t one of the best songwriters on the face of the planet because of what he did in his personal life, you’re looking at the wrong thing.”

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