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Erykah Badu Clarifies Call For R. Kelly 'Prayer' After Backlash

The Grammy-winning R&B singer said her perceived defense of Kelly had been "fabricated or taken out of context."

Erykah Badu is doing damage control after making a series of controversial remarks about R. Kelly during a Chicago concert over the weekend. 

The Grammy-winning R&B singer reportedly told fans at her Saturday performance at the Aragon Ballroom that she was “putting up a prayer” for Kelly. 

“I hope he sees the light of day if he’s done all those things that we’ve seen on TV and heard those ladies talk about,” she said on videos of the concert that quickly made the rounds on social media. “What if one of the people that was assaulted by R. Kelly grows up to be an offender? Are we gonna crucify them? I mean, how do we do this? It’s just something to think about.”

Many fans interpreted the remarks as a defense of Kelly, who faces allegations of sexual abuse by multiple women. 

On Sunday night, Badu appeared to address Kelly directly, noting, “I love you. Unconditionally. 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,” she continued, before adding, “That’s all I have ever said. Anything else has been fabricated or taken out of context.” 

The clarification came after Badu faced blistering backlash on social media for her Saturday concert remarks. 

The controversy recalled previous comments Badu made in a 2018 interview with New York Magazine’s Vulture, in which she said she “loved” Bill Cosby. 

“I love what he’s done for the world,” she said of Cosby, months before the actor-comedian was sentenced to three to 10 years in prison for sexual assault. “But if he’s sick, why would I be angry with him? The people who got hurt, I feel so bad for them. I want them to feel better, too. But sick people do evil things; hurt people hurt people.” 

Describing herself as “a humanist,” she further raised eyebrows when she noted, “I see good in everybody. I saw something good in Hitler.”

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