Not everyone is thrilled with R. Kelly’s participation in a back-to-school parade for Chicago children. As he continues to recover from emergency throat surgery, the embattled R&B star served as a grand marshal for the Bud Billiken parade. Some have taken issue with the singer’s past behavior, which includes acknowledging that he cannot read and previous child-porn charges.
Of course, Kelly’s fans are quick to come to his defense. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that one 36-year-old woman parade attendant shouted to Kelly, “You’re still my baby, no matter what you did!” Another 38-year-old mother of two went on to question whether or not Kelly is in the now infamous tape. Tiffany Levy argued, “Isn’t that what justice is in the United States?” And Chris Bertram cried unfairness about criticism over Kelly’s illiteracy, saying, "He used his God-given talent. That doesn’t mean he can’t tell the kids to go to school and do something he didn’t do.”
Parade organizers like Beverly “Earth Momma” Reed-Scott explained to the Sun-Times that, unlike many celebrities, R. Kelly didn’t “wave from a float and go home,” opting instead to spend time with the area children. Still, there were some vocal parade attendants who questioned his selection. One quipped to reporters, “It doesn’t seem right. I wouldn’t have picked him.”
(Photo: Michael N. Todaro/Getty Images)