Singer K. Michelle has been one of the few Black artists outspoken about how the ideas of genres are limiting and unfair. The Southern singer, despite being labeled R&B by the mainstream, also has dreams of singing country music. The loss of her soul mentor, R. Kelly, has also impacted her, and sharing those thoughts got her in some hot water.
R. Kelly’s still sitting in the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago, and it seems as if he’s not going anywhere any time soon. Even a few legal maneuvers due to COVID-19 couldn’t get him any early release consideration. Kelly’s also run into trouble with other inmates due to his “fans” outside protesting, which has caused the facility he’s in to go on lockdown, affecting all the other inmates.
The fallout of Kelly’s legacy in light of his charges continues. Another R&B singer and previous Kelly collaborator Syleena Johnson has also had her feet held to the fire while trying to navigate their love of the music he had some part in creating – fan and artist alike.
In 2019, she told The Associated Press that she can’t “happily perform” her hit song “I Am Your Woman” any longer because the song brings her “to tears.” She claimed the “#MuteRKelly” movement also made her take another look at the lyrics.
“No, I didn’t tape the song knowing what I know now, but when you know better, you have to do better,” Johnson said in the interview. “Essentially you’ve put me in a predicament where I’m a young woman talking about being with an older man. That’s what my song says. … So, when I see what’s going on, I’m in tears because I’ve been singing that the whole time.”
K. Michelle worked with R. Kelly on his 2010 album Love Letter, appearing on the song “Love Is” with the singer. In a 2019 interview with Nick Cannon, the singer came under fire for remarks about Kelly’s charges and how they had affected her.
“I know for me, yes, he is a controlling man, but he would control my music,” which people felt was insensitive to R. Kelly’s victims. Once again, an earnest K. Michelle has been maligned for bringing up her past relationship with Kelly – this time, as a “mentor” to her.
I swear if Rob was here so many of my musical questions would be answered. If you have a mentor u need to learn as much musically as possible, but I took so days of learning for granted never knowing this would happen to him— K. Michelle (@kmichelle) December 9, 2020
“I swear if Rob was here so many of my musical questions would be answered,” she wrote on Twitter. “If you have a mentor u need to learn as much musically as possible, but I took so days of learning for granted never knowing this would happen to him.”
In the thread, K. Michelle also seems to be encouraging herself, saying she “trusted him” her whole career but now “it’s time to trust” herself.
No one will ever understand how heavy it is watching the person who saved your life be crucified in front of the world for their sickness— K. Michelle (@kmichelle) December 9, 2020
She ended the thread with “No one will ever understand how heavy it is watching the person who saved your life be crucified in front of the world for their sickness,” clearly showing that her experience with Kelly was something very personal to her – despite what people are trolling her and saying in response.
No regrets I say what I say. Ain’t my fault people didn’t pay attention in elementary school and can’t comprehend that im not defending anyone. I’m talking about MY STORY, MY LIFE. No soul alive will take my God given rights 2feel.— K. Michelle (@kmichelle) December 9, 2020
Twitter dragged the singer immediately for her tweets. See responses below:
K. Michelle decided to wake up and flush whatever is left of her career doen the toilet for R Kelly. She's 34 years old. pic.twitter.com/Skfst3thzY— Sisa (@Titanbaddie) December 9, 2020
K. Michelle sat here on Beyoncé’s internet and said Robert Kelly is being treated unfairly because of his “sickness.”— anthony (@t0nybgoode) December 9, 2020
His pedophilia… pic.twitter.com/XBhXQhWsrp
I know K. Michelle didn’t wake up with that bullshit on her heart this morning…GIRL pic.twitter.com/N5LL812U37— Martha May Whovier 🎄 (@_GordonGartrell) December 9, 2020
Do my eyes deceive me or is K. Michelle defending Robert Kelly in the year of our Winterfell 2020 🔍— MLK’s Sasha Fierce (@Blike_Dante) December 9, 2020