R Kelly
R Kelly

Jay-Z and Lady Gaga are among the stars who allegedly declined to appear in a documentary about R Kelly, the series’ producer has said.

Surviving R Kelly, which premiered in the US on Thursday, explores decades of sexual abuse allegations brought against the artist, all of which he denies.

John Legend is one of the only musicians who agreed to be interviewed.

In December 2018, the New York screening of the series was evacuated.

It followed individuals stating they received “a threatening phone call”.

The show’s producer Dream Hampton said it was “incredibly difficult” to get celebrities who had collaborated with Kelly to come forward.

“We asked Lady Gaga. We asked Erykah Badu. We asked Celine Dion. We asked Jay-Z. We asked Dave Chappelle. (They’re) people who have been critical of him,” she told the Detroit Free Press.

But Hampton doesn’t believe it’s because they support him or his actions.

“It’s because it’s so messy and muddy. It’s that turning away that has allowed this to go on,” she told Shadow and Act.

John Legend is one of the only major musicians involved in the docuseries made by Lifetime – he appears in the final episode which airs on Saturday.

“R Kelly has brought so much pain to so many people,” he said.

The All of Me singer has been praised for his participation, with Hampton calling him a “hero”, a title which he rejects.

“To everyone telling me how courageous I am for appearing in the doc, it didn’t feel risky at all,” he wrote.

Despite being one of the most successful R&B artists in history, Kelly’s career has been plagued by accusations of sexual misconduct since the 1990s.

The new documentary details the relationship in 1994 between the late singer Aaliyah and Kelly, who married him when she was 15 and he was 27.

Vibe magazine later discovered that Aaliyah had lied on the wedding certificateabout her age, listing herself as 18. The marriage was annulled in February 1995.

Source: BBC