UPDATED: The tweet announcing R. Kelly’s tour dates in Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka reported below has been deleted; reps for the singer and the promoter did not immediately respond to Variety’s request for comment.
R. Kelly, whose career is reeling from the longstanding sexual-misconduct allegations presented in Lifetime’s harrowing documentary “Surviving R. Kelly,” has announced tour dates nearly as far as geographically possible from the United States: in Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka.
No dates or venues were listed — simply that the tour is “coming soon” — but the promoter is a Melbourne, Australia-based entertainment company called Flamingo Dreamz (formerly known as Sin City) that in the past has promoted tours in the region by Ja Rule (whose career is also facing challenges connected to his executive-producer role in the disastrous 2017 Fyre Festival), Ciara, rapper Twista, DJ Erick Morillo and others. The company did not immediately respond to Variety’s request for comment.
Kelly has two tour dates in Germany scheduled for April, which are promoted by the German company live-entertainment and ticketing company Eventim.
While multiple detailed allegations of sexually abusive behavior by Kelly toward young women date back more than 20 years, he has never been convicted of a crime and he has consistently denied any wrongdoing; the singer was charged with child pornography in 2000 after a video surfaced that purported to show him having sex with an underage woman, but the woman refused to testify and he was acquitted in 2008. Regardless, the outcry that followed “Surviving R. Kelly” — which placed the accusations into stark relief — was strong enough to lead his longtime record label, RCA, to part company with him on Jan. 18 (RCA did not make a public announcement about the move, although it removed Kelly from its website on that day). Live Nation, his most recent promoter in the U.S., told Variety that it has not worked directly with him in many years, although it did occasionally do one-off concerts with him via regional promoters, but “not for more than a year.”
Most of Kelly’s scheduled concerts in the U.S. in the past couple of years have been cancelled due to public outcry and/or poor ticket sales.