While many people are happy to see R. Kelly behind bars today, some are still rooting for the R&B singer to find redemption. One person who has expressed her hopes for him in the past was Erykah Badu. The singer has a soft spot for polarizing public figures, R. Kelly being one of them.
In the past, Erykah has fought to find the good in men who have complicated histories. This includes another Chicago legend, Kanye West. In a post from last fall, Badu shared an image of herself and Ye posing for the camera. “by the way … Let me tell you about my friend Ye. No one is more beautiful and kind and creative.” She goes on to say that she attended his mother’s funeral and believes “we all want the same thing.” She believes that thing is “to be loved and to work with pride.”
Badu and West share a mutual respect and appreciation for Hilter too. While Kanye has brought up the nazi leader during several of his anti-Semitic rants, Badu defended the tyrant in an old interview. Badu claimed to see beauty in all people and considered Hilter a “good painter.” She also shared similar thoughts about Bill Cosby. “I love Bill Cosby, and I love what he’s done for the world. But if he’s sick, why would I be angry with him?”
During a tour stop in Chicago, Erykah Badu decided to say a prayer for R. Kelly. When she was welcomed with boos, the singer tried to reason with the crowd to see her perspective on healing and forgiveness. “What if one of the people that was assaulted by R Kelly grows up to be an offender, we gonna crucify them?” she asked the crowd.
Badu would later go on social media and defend herself, saying that unconditional love does not mean she supports someone’s choices. “I want healing for you and anyone you are hurt as a result of being hurt. Is that strange to you?” Badu says that her mission has always been that, and any other version of that “has been fabricated or taken out of context.”