R. Kelly received a warm reception from ravers at an Illinois club on Saturday night (06Apr19) as he made a rare public appearance in the wake of his sexual abuse scandal.
The I Believe I Can Fly hitmaker was booked to attend the Dirty South Lounge in Springfield this weekend, and while he didn't perform, he happily talked to fans and gave out hugs, and posed for photos with the partygoers.
He was even pictured pulling out a cigar as he enjoyed the positive attention - a far cry from the backlash he has received in the media since he was indicted on 10 felony counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse in February (19). He stands accused of behaving inappropriately with four victims, three of whom were allegedly minors at the time of the incidents.
Kelly has denied all allegations, and hours before he was due to arrive at the Dirty South Lounge, he took to Instagram to beg members of the press to leave him in peace so he could fulfill his club commitments.
"Yo, this is your boy Kells and I got an event to do tonight in Springfield, Illinois, so I want the media to take it easy on me, man," the 52 year old said in the clip.
"This is how I got to get paid for right now. So if you see me in the club, with a couple of drinks in my hand, and chilling, please, take it easy."
The singer previously claimed he has been struggling financially in light of the negative press he has received since longrunning sexual misconduct accusations were revisited in the damning docuseries Surviving R. Kelly.
Revelations made in the show, which aired in January (19), prompted prosecutors in Illinois and Georgia, where he has property, to launch investigations into his alleged conduct.
He also had to rely on associates to bail him out of jail following his indictment, and again in March (19) after failing to settle his child support debts with ex-wife Andrea Kelly.