The pair performed their own version of the track together in 2013
Gaga withdrew the track – which was released as a single from her third album ‘Artpop’ in 2013 – from streaming services after it emerged that the R&B singer is facing a criminal investigation amid allegations about his sexual history.
The criminal investigation follows the six-part Lifetime documentary series Surviving R. Kelly, in which numerous women claimed to be the victim of sexual assault by the 52-year-old singer.
Now, Aguilera has posted a series of tweets supporting Gaga and pointing to their own duet of the track on the US version of The Voice in 2013. It comes as Gaga’s version with R Kelly re-entered the top 100 on the US iTunes chart.
“This is a reminder of women sticking together— and not letting a man take ownership of a great song/ moment… And if anything the message of this song remains that although you may have had my body, you will never have my heart, my voice my life or my mind,” Aguilera wrote on Twitter.
In a further post, she added: “Being a survivor of past predators myself, these lines spoke to me, which is why I did the song. I embrace all survivors of sexual and domestic violence and abuse holding a special place in my heart, and you @ladygaga, for doing the right thing!”
In her statement on Twitter, earlier this week Gaga said: “I stand behind these women 1000%, believe them, know they are suffering and in pain, and feel strongly that their voices should be heard and taken seriously.”
She added that the allegations against Kelly are “absolutely horrifying and indefensible”, adding: “As a victim of sexual assault myself, I made the song and video at a dark time in my life. My intention was to create something extremely defiant and provocative, because I was angry and still hadn’t processed the trauma that had occurred in my own life. The song is called ‘Do What U Want (With My Body)’ and I think it’s clear how explicitly twisted my thinking was at the time.”
Kelly has denied the sexual abuse claims, saying he didn’t know many of the women featured in the Surviving R Kelly documentary. The series has led to police in Georgia and Chicago launching a criminal investigation. Chicago state attorney Kim Foxx said she was “sickened” by the allegations, issuing an appeal on Twitter for people to come forward with any information.
The series on the Lifetime channel has led to the hashtag #MuteRKelly, and protesters engaging with the movement have picketed the singer’s recording studio in Chicago.