R. Kelly has been dropped from an upcoming music festival in Ohio following a slew of complaints over his controversial past.
Kelly was set to perform as the headliner at the Fashion Meets Music Festival in Columbus in August (14), but he has now been dropped from the line-up following a storm of protest on Twitter.com and Facebook.com.
The news came after local bands Damn the Witch Siren and Saintseneca, along with several sponsors, pulled out of the event over Kelly's involvement.
In a post on Twitter.com, the festival's organisers announced they have "decided to part ways" with the controversial R&B star, with local paper The Columbus Dispatch quoting festival spokesperson Melissa Dickson as saying, "We wanted to make sure we heard the Columbus listeners... to make a statement and support the city we live in."
Kelly's publicist also released a statement, saying, "R. Kelly is sorry to disappoint his fans but looks forward to seeing them in the near future during one of his upcoming tours."
Kelly was indicted in 2002 on charges of making child pornography, but was acquitted in 2008.
The remaining headliners of the festival include O.A.R. and Michelle Williams.
Two bands have cancelled their sets at an upcoming Ohio music festival over headliner R. Kelly's past allegations of sexual violence and assault. Ohio-based bands Damn the Witch Siren and Saintseneca recently announced they have axed their gigs at the upcoming Fashion Meets Music Festival in Columbus in August (14) after festival organisers revealed the controversial R&B singer is one of the headlining acts.
Kelly was indicted on 21 counts of child pornography, based on a sex tape he allegedly made with an underage girl in 2002, and although he was later cleared of all charges, the case has proven to tarnish his reputation.
The band members of Saintseneca are among those who won't let Kelly forget about the scandal, explaining their decision to quit the gig in a statement which reads: "We feel R. Kelly's selection as a performer ignores his very serious allegations of sexual violence and assault.
"We feel it is an affront to all survivors, who are already often overlooked and forgotten in our society."
The musicians also announced plans to hold an alternative concert to benefit victims of sexual assault.
In addition to the bands, bosses at local radio station WCBE 90.5 FM decided to pull their sponsorship of the event, also citing Kelly's participation in the festival.
Fashion Meets Music Festival co-founder Bret Adams has defended adding Kelly to the bill, noting that the singer was acquitted in 2008, and adding, "We're not the morality police."
The inaugural music festival also features fellow headliners O.A.R. and Destiny's Child singer Michelle Williams.
Broadway star Idina Menzel is set to perform the National Anthem at the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Minneapolis, Minnesota next week (begs14Jul14). Singer Aloe Blacc, Panic! At the Disco, O.A.R. and Imagine Dragons are also slated to perform sets during the All-Star Week. The big game airs in the U.S. on Tuesday (15Jul14).
Boy, that Nate Ruess seemed sort of curmudgeon-y about that whole Best New Artist thing, eh? Emphasizing how not-young the bandmates are more than once during their Grammy Award acceptance speeches Sunday night. (A ridiculous thing for the 30-year old Ruess to say in a room filled with people well above the AARP entrance age.) Well that may or may not be because he hardly considers his band fun., a new artist. While we're of the ilk to tell him to suck it up and check out the careers of some of the previous winners (who were far less new than his beloved fun.), we have to admit that their now-Grammy winning album Some Nights has not been the first LP the men have crafted. In fact, the men have put out countless albums with previous groups before they came to be fun.
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Besides the 2009 disc Aim and Ignite, the band's founding members — the aforementioned Ruess, Andrew Dost, and Jack Antonoff — all have previous musical attempts under their belts. So let's take a waltz through their previous outfits and the songs that made those bands equally as interesting. After this post we promise you'll sound super-informed and impressive amongst your friends.
Steel Train - "I Feel Weird": Jack Antonoff's other band Steel Train has been around since 2002. Besides having opened up for other famous bands such as Tegan and Sara, Ben Folds, The Fray, Silversun Pickups, Hanson, The Format, Gomez, O.A.R., Barenaked Ladies, and — of course — fun. Jersey born and bred, and friends since childhood, they put out three albums and three EPs as a band. Their most popular song is arguably the one above from their second album, 2007's Trampoline.
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The Format - "The First Single": Ruess' first band, The Format, was a seeming staple for high schoolers in the early aughts. (The band formed in 2001.) Their oh-so-appropriately titled first single, "The First Single," shows you a bit more of Ruess' perma-need to be aware of the limits placed upon him as an artist in the music industry during a time where its future was very much unstable. Everybody needs a first single, eh?
Anathallo - "The River": Perhaps the most experimental of all the previous projects, Andrew Dost's band with friend Jamie Macleod, was formed in 2000. An ever-evolving outfit that often included an average of 8 people on stage during its performances, Anathallo put out four albums and three EPs before they closed up shop in 2009. Dost left the group in 2008.
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...and of course, there was the album fun. put out before Some Nights. 2009's Aim and Ignite produced some songs you probably heard on a couple MTV promos a few years back. Case in point: "Walking The Dog."
What do you think of fun.'s Grammy wins last night? Are you a fan? Let us know in the comments!
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