Erykah Badu has invited controversy after appearing to defend R Kelly at a concert over the weekend.
The neo-soul icon was performing at Chicago’s Aragon Ballroom on 19 January, where she reportedly hit out at the huge backlash against Kelly in the wake of the Surviving R Kelly documentary.
She detailed multiple allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct against the star.
According to TMZ, Badu said she was “putting up a prayer” for the singer.
“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 told the crowd in a video filmed by one fan.
“I hope he sees the light of day and comes forward.”
She then added: “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.”
On 20 January, she appeared to double down on the claims in a pointed Twitter post.
Her comments come after the director of Surviving R Kelly claimed that Badu had turned down an offer to appear on the show.
Badu, who has enjoyed a sustained friendship with Kelly, also seemingly hinted that she still “loves” the star.
She posted an Instagram video that featured the caption: “Having eyes that can see all points of view is a blessing… and a curse in the court of public opinion.”
When one fan subsequently accused her of supporting a “rapist and paedophile”, Badu responded: “Correction, love has little to do with supporting others’ bad choices. Love is wisdom.”
Despite facing widespread claims of sexual misconduct, Kelly has publicly denied any wrongdoing.