R. Kelly Gives 28-Second Performance

Fans paid $100 for surprise Illinois gig
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 8, 2019 2:30 AM CDT
FILE - In this Friday, March 22, 2019 file photo, R. Kelly appears for a hearing at the Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago, Illinois.   (E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune via AP, Pool, File)
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(Newser) – Fans who went to see R. Kelly at a surprise gig in Springfield, Ill., on Saturday night ended up paying roughly $3.50 per second of performance. The singer—who announced the appearance at the Dirty South lounge in an Instagram post hours earlier—sang one of his songs for 28 seconds in front of an audience that had paid a $100 entrance fee, which was reduced to $50 after Kelly arrived, WICS reports. The singer, who pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of sexual abuse in February, stayed for another 35 minutes to dance and chat with the approximately 100 fans in attendance at the 450-capacity venue.

Kelly—whose lawyers say he has been struggling to find work since his arrest—said in the Instagram post that he was finding it difficult to pay expenses including child support and legal fees, the AP reports. "I want the media to take it easy on me, man," he said. "And this is how I got to get paid now, for right now. So I got to go do this event, and it’s a party, so when you see me in the club with a couple of drinks in my hand, and chilling, please, take it easy. Appreciate it, y'all. Thanks." Afterward, some fans said it hadn't been worth the money. They were divided on whether Kelly is guilty or not, though they said they wanted to separate the "accused criminal" from the artist, reports WICS. (Read more R. Kelly stories.)

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