R Kelly has sparked “serious concerns” after confirming plans to tour Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka in 2019.
The tour, which was confirmed on social media, comes in the wake of the explosive Surviving R Kelly documentary which details widespread allegations that the singer has sexually and physically abused women over several decades. Kelly has since denied the allegations and has so far faced no criminal convictions.
Although no tour dates have yet been announced, Kelly confirmed the shows on social media after they were previously touted in December last year.
In a statement, Australia’s shadow minister for immigration and border protection, Shayne Neumann, has confirmed that the opposition Labor party would be “seriously concerned” if Kelly was allowed into the country to perform.
“Labor strongly supports the refusal or cancellation of visas of non-citizens on character or criminal grounds … Labor would be seriously concerned if immigration minister David Coleman would allow an individual such as R Kelly into Australia,” said Neumann.
“If the immigration minister suspects that a non-citizen does not pass the character test, or there is a risk to the community while they are in Australia, he should use the powers he has under the Migration Act to deny or cancel their visa.”
In January, it was previously claimed that a proposed tour of Australia had fallen through after promoters Big Music Tour alleged that Kelly’s team were presented with “higher fees” by other promoters.
I’m happy R. Kelly just announced his tour, I can’t wait to call these venues, booking agents & promoters & get shows cancelled.#MuteRKelly isn’t just for this country, you’ll be muted in Australia, New England & Sri Lanka too. @DreamzFlamingo are the promoters! @RKelly pic.twitter.com/b9YvFCKzbR
— Jerome Trammel (@MrJeromeTrammel) February 5, 2019
Although Big Music Tour said they were “working on a solution”, they ultimately decided “not to move forward” after the Surviving R Kelly documentary detailed shocking abuse claims.
A spokesperson for Australia’s home affairs department added: “All non-citizens entering Australia must meet, and continue to meet, the character requirements set out in the Migration Act 1958 (the Act). There are strong provisions under the Act to refuse or cancel a visa where a person is found not to be of good character.”
At present, Kelly is due to perform two shows in Germany in April. A petition to stop the shows has so far attracted 40,000 signatures.