In a surprising move, singer and TV host Syleena Johnson has publicly shown support for R. Kelly. The diva and bodybuilder does not see Kelly as persona non grata like most people.
Johnson stated that music lovers should continue to enjoy Kelly’s epic music catalog because when he wrote and composed the tracks, they were meant to inspire and uplift the listeners.
In a now-viral interview with Page Six, the songwriter explained: “I don’t think people should find themselves responsible for his actions because they love his music. During that time, when you heard that music, you were in a pure place where you received something lyrically that inspired and motivated you. Hold on to that.”
Johnson, who has worked with Kelly on several tracks, said if the R&B star is canceled by society for his alleged crimes, the same should be done for Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein.
She added: “That’s not your fault that he created this … So if we can’t listen to his music, [then], we can’t watch another Harvey Weinstein movie. We can’t watch none of Bill Cosby’s shows.”
She decided to bring the love of God into the conversation: “God created these people. They are still created by the Lord. He also designed them to put those good things in the world. Whether they are attached to these terrible things … that’s not our responsibility.”
Kelly has been behind bars for several months now on a long list of charges, including sexual abuse, sex trafficking, bribery, and racketeering. Many people were quick to share their thoughts on Johnson’s stance.
One person said: “Can she please shut her mouth is nothing enjoyable about his music when he’s singing about the things he has done. I wonder if she would enjoy it if it had been her daughter. Some folks just need to be quiet. Shutting up is always an option.”
Another follower wrote: “Y’all have to remember that all those celebrities think about is $$$$, and they don’t care who did what to who. As long as they can keep up they’re lifestyles, and their kids and family were not the victims, they DO NOT CARE. Sad but true.”
This follower stated: “Well said ! 👏🏾 and let’s not forget about our new generation. They are the ones who go next to continue to fill in his bank account… why? Because their elder never condemned his music 🤦🏽♀️.”
This fourth commenter wrote: “How can she justify listening to his lyrics knowing he was writing them for and about little girls?!? Whew, child, the lengths folks will go… yikes.”
There is not much room for nuance when it comes to Kelly.