The first leg of R. Kelly’s “After Party” tour fizzled to a stop when Sunday’s show at the FedEx Forum in Memphis was canceled Friday by the promoter, who cited “unforeseen circumstances.”
The show was the fifth on the tour to be canceled, largely as a result of the outcry around Buzzfeed articles that accuse the singer of running an “abusive cult” in which he holds young women at houses in Chicago and Atlanta, sexually abuses them and prohibits most outside contact with the world; one of the women posted videos claiming that she’s “happy where I’m at.” Kelly has denied the charges; similar accusations have been leveled against him for the past 20 years — including that he videotaped himself having sex with an underaged girl in the late 1990s.
Last week, Buzzfeed issued another report by Jim DeRogatis — who broke the story of the videotape in 2000 and has followed the Kelly case ever since — in which a woman claims she began a sexual relationship with the singer when she was underaged. He ultimately became abusive and violent toward her; she was paid an undisclosed sum to settle the matter and signed a non-disclosure agreement, which she has broken.
Still, Kelly issued a disgruntled press release via his rep in the wake of the cancellation. “After back-to-back sold out shows in Atlanta, GA and Pelham, AL, Mr. Kelly would have loved nothing more than to finish the @southerntakeover portion of his After Party Tour in Memphis, TN tonight,” the release reads. “The decision to cancel the show was by the promoter, in breach of their agreement and out of Mr. Kelly’s control. He’s sorry his Memphis fans are disappointed and will do his best to make it up to them. Soon. As always, he thanks all of his fans for their support.”