Unearthed in a VladTV interview from 2014, one of Georgia’s R&B vocal treasures, Joe, also recalled a rather hostile moment with the Chicago crooner, who likely saw him as competition. It was no sweat off the “I Wanna Know” singer’s back though, considering that he was an emerging R&B talent at the time and figured Kelly was just trying to protect his own lane. But judging by Joe’s recollection, Kelly’s behavior may have been a little more than just friendly competition.
Joe elaborated on that belief, stating to Vlad that he’d received “credible information” from trusted sources that his then label mate had been speaking to some mutual parties against him.
“As if they’re really going to stop playing my record because you said, ‘If you don’t stop playing his record I’m never going to come back to this show,’” Joe said. Not that he’d even allow that to happen, he continued in the interview, on account of the solid industry relationships he’d already built.
They never had any altercations that would lead to such tension between them though, Joe clarified. Let him tell it, and Kelly simply felt threatened by him because, perhaps, he felt the Columbus, Georgia, crooner was hightailing it into the R&B lane Kelly carved out for himself.
But little did Kelly know that Joe was actually a huge fan of his at the time. “Because he don’t even know how much I respect him as far as his music goes,” he said. “I think he’s an incredible talent.” Even still, whatever attempts Kelly had to put an end to Joe's R&B reign proved unsuccessful as he went on to become a seven-time Grammy Award nominee and an internationally bestselling artist for his third studio undertaking.
And all that to say: jealousy is an ugly disease, folks.
Hear his recollection from five years ago in the clip below.
(Photos from left: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images, Jason Kempin/Getty Images)