R Kelly has been dropped as the headliner of a festival in Ohio following complaints.
The R&B singer was due to perform at the Fashion Meets Music festival on August 29 but organisers have decided to cancel the appearance following concerns from a number of people, including fans, other artists and commercial sponsors over scandals and criminal trials in his past.
The protests were lead by local bands Damn The Witch Siren and Saintseneca with the latter pulling out of the festival following the announcement of R Kelly on the bill. Radio station WCBE also distanced itself from Fashion Meets Music after the booking was made.
A spokesperson for the festival told The Guardian that the decision was not based on poor sales but rather “taking a stance” following negative feedback on the singer. “The festival has taken a lot of heat, and we really just wanted to listen to Columbus, [Ohio] and really take a stance and move forward,” said Melissa Dixon.
Additionally, a representative for the singer said: “R Kelly is sorry to disappoint his fans, but looks forward to seeing them in the near future during one of his upcoming tours.”
Though tried in court, R Kelly has never been convicted of a crime. Allegations of rape and sexual abuse have been made against the singer though a 2008 trial saw the singer found not guilty of making child pornography.