Minimum Gauge: John Legend, Chance The Rapper Among the Few Artists to Speak Out Against R. Kelly in Documentary

Plus, Queen and Don Shirley films clean up at the Golden Globes and Nashville says OK to Kid Rock's giant butt-guitar sign

Jan 7, 2019 at 11:41 am
click to enlarge Alleged R. Kelly victim Kitti Jones speaks out in the recent docuseries 'Surviving R. Kelly' - Photo: YouTube screengrab
Photo: YouTube screengrab
Alleged R. Kelly victim Kitti Jones speaks out in the recent docuseries 'Surviving R. Kelly'

HOT: R. Kelly Doc Makes Waves

Despite numerous sexual assault allegations against R. Kelly, the singer has remained wildly popular and successful. But the recent documentary miniseries Surviving R. Kelly may help shift the tide of public perception with its deep dive into the disturbing allegations. Producer dream hampton said the lack of participation by Kelly collaborators like Jay-Z, Lady Gaga and Celine Dion (who were offered a chance to respond in the doc) was indicative of how Kelly has been able to get away with the alleged abuse. “It’s not because they support him, it’s because it’s so messy and muddy,” hampton told the website Shadow And Act. “It’s that turning away that has allowed this to go on.” Artists who did participate included John Legend (who on Twitter said he didn’t think it was “courageous” to protect “a serial child rapist”) and Chance the Rapper, who apologized for a 2015 Kelly collaboration and for taking so long to speak out. Kelly was "disgusted" by the series, but not like most viewers — he reportedly said it was merely a "vendetta" against him. Besides reports of possible legal action, TMZ says that Kelly is launching a website dedicated to debunking each accusation.

WARM: Music Movies Win Globes

Aside from Rami Malek’s starring turn as Freddie Mercury, Bohemian Rhapsody largely received lukewarm-to-freezing-cold reviews from critics. That didn’t hurt box-office returns for the movie about Queen’s rise to Rock superstardom — it’s the highest grossing musician biopic of all time. It also didn’t hamper Bohemian Rhapsody’s reputation in the eyes of award voters. Well, at least in the eyes of the notoriously odd “tastemakers” behind the Golden Globes. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association awarded Rhapsody its Best Motion Picture – Drama trophy for 2019. Another critically divisive music-centric film, Green Book (about Jazz pianist Don Shirley), won the Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy award. Both films' stars also fared well — Malek won Best Actor in a Drama and Mahershala Ali (who played Shirley in Green Book) won a Best Supporting Actor award.

COLD: Kid Rock’s Butt OKed

Kid Rock’s efforts to ingratiate himself with Nashville continue… awkwardly. After being denied the grand marshal role at a Christmas parade because he called Joy Behar a “bitch,” Rock’s latest wrangling with Nashville city officials had a happier ending. Nashville’s city council voted overwhelmingly to allow a 20-foot neon sign at the singer’s new downtown bar/restaurant, Kid Rock's Big Ass Honky Tonk Rock N' Roll Steakhouse. Some members of the council objected to the sign featuring a giant guitar because, as the Tennessean eloquently put it, “the base of the instrument is intentionally shaped like a woman's buttocks.”