Erykah Badu Explains Why She Gave R. Kelly ‘Unconditional Love’ at Concert After Growing Backlash

Erykah Badu responded to some heavy criticism after she was booed at a concert for showing empathy for R. Kelly.

After the documentary series “Surviving R. Kelly” aired this month, which detailed the fallen singer’s alleged sexual improprieties, he’s been under a new layer of backlash and has been dropped by his label, as well as Universal Music Publishing Group.

Erykah Badu responded to backlash after she spoke of R. Kelly at a recent concert.


Badu spoke about Kelly on Saturday, Jan. 19, while she played at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago.

“I don’t know how everybody else feels about it, but I’m putting up a prayer right now for R.,” she said.  “I hope he sees the light of day if he done all those things that we’ve seen on TV and heard those ladies talk about. I hope he sees the light of day and comes forward.”

Then after the boos continued and people cursed Kelly’s name, Badu responded.

“What y’all say, f— him? That’s not love. That’s not unconditional love,” she replied. “But what if one of the people that was assaulted by R. Kelly grows up to be an offender, we gonna crucify them?”

After the crowd couldn’t be swayed, Badu spoke of the inevitable public backlash she’d receive and said she just wanted everyone involved, Kelly and the alleged victims, to “have peace and light.”

Then on Sunday, Jan. 20, the soul singer doubled down on that opinion after the criticism grew even louder.

“I love you unconditionally,” she wrote. “That doesn’t mean I support your poor choices. I want healing for you and anyone you have hurt as a result of you being hurt. Is that strange to you? That’s all I ever said. Anything else has been fabricated or taken out of context.”

But Badu’s explanation only seemed to get her in even hotter water and people expressed why they strongly disagreed.

“Your use of the word ‘mistake’ is dismissive to the fact this man is a serial abuser,” one person tweeted. “That’s not a mistake, it’s a way of life and you have not denounced that way of life at all.”

Others felt people were being too critical of Badu and said they saw her point. You can see her talk about Kelly below.

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