For years, R. Kelly has been behind bars fighting for his freedom. Late last month, he found out his fate– 30 years in prison for sex trafficking and racketeering. Throughout the entire process, thousands of people have shared their opinion on the matter– some for him, and some against him. However, one celebrity, in particular, seems to have changed their mind.
Ne-Yo, whose real name is Shaffer Chimere Smith, is a singer, songwriter, and actor. Back in 2019, when things began to heat up for the “Bump n’ Grind” artist, Ne-Yo was adamant about R. Kelly being punished for his crimes. He posted a picture that read, “#MuteRKelly,” a popular hashtag at the time that instructed people to stop listening to the singer’s music.
To accompany the post, Ne-Yo wrote, “There is NO excuse. Music is important. It really is. But it’s not more important than protecting our children, protecting our little girls. PERIOD. #IHaveADaughter #TF!?? #MUTERKELLY.”
Apparently, the 42-year-old artist has had a change of heart. During an interview with Independent, Ne-Yo spoke on R. Kelly’s sentencing. “I expected something in the realm of that… I pray this gives everybody who feels they were victimized by him a little bit of closure on whatever pain he caused,” he stated.
However, the artist is torn on what to do with Kelly’s hit records. “I have always been a person that can separate the artist from the art,” he stated, “I don’t give a d*mn about your personal life, I don’t give a d*mn about what you’ve done wrong, or what you’ve done right.”
He also reminisced on moments in which people would throw hate on Kelly’s music around him. “I’ve been in parties where someone will turn on an R Kelly record, and people will be like ‘Boo!’ That’s bullsh*t because you know good and well that before this happened, you’d be rocking out to this song, just like everybody else,” said the “Miss Independent singer.
He concluded his thoughts by adding that he listens to the imprisoned artist from time to time and that he is still, despite what he’s done, one of the greatest songwriters to ever exist.