Australian politician wants to bar R. Kelly from performing there
In this June 30, 2013 file photo, R. Kelly performs at the BET Awards at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Invision/AP, File)
The Associated Press
Published Wednesday, February 6, 2019 9:34AM EST
NEW YORK -- R. Kelly is planning an international tour, but an Australian lawmaker wants the country to bar him from performing there.
The embattled musician announced on social media Tuesday that he'll be going to Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka.
“See y'all soon” the post said, accompanied by a picture of Kelly and the declaration “The King of R&B.” No dates or venues were revealed.
Kelly's career has been stifled since a #MuteRKelly campaign gained momentum last year to protest his alleged sexual abuse of women and girls, which Kelly denies. Lifetime's documentary series “Surviving R. Kelly” last month drew even more attention to the allegations, and his record label has reportedly dropped him.
Australia has denied entry to other foreigners on character grounds, among them troubled R&B singer Chris Brown, convicted classified document leaker Chelsea Manning, anti-vaxxer Kent Heckenlively and Gavin McInnes, founder of the all-male far-right group Proud Boys.
“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,” senior opposition lawmaker Shayne Neumann said in a statement.
Australia's Home Affairs Department said it did not comment on individual cases. But the department said in a statement there were strong legal provisions to block entry to anyone “found not to be of good character.”
Kelly is a multiplatinum R&B star who has not only notched multiple hits for himself, but also many high-profile performers.