R. Kelly was supposed to headline Soulfest AZ in Tolleson last month. Although the entertainer was there to perform, he ultimately backed out of the show 20 minutes before he was scheduled to go on.
He broke the news to his fans via video wherein he said:
“I’m right here in Arizona right now. Big ups to all my Arizona fans out here waiting on Kellz. But I got to let y’all know, unfortunately, I’m not gonna be able to perform even though I’m right here in my trailer and I’m ready to go on stage.
"But I just got bad news that my management never told me, that they did not give me my money. I haven’t gotten no money for doing this show. They told me they had the money, so when I got here, the money wasn’t here. So it’s nothing personal against my fans. This is business, y’all. And I hope y’all understand. You know, when they get the money up and they are ready to do business and do business correct, R. Kelly will be back here in Arizona to give y’all the best show you ever seen in your life. I love y’all and once again I’m sorry.”
An announcer took to the stage at Soulfest with the unenviable task of telling the waiting crowd that R. Kelly would not be coming to the stage. He repeatedly emphasized that this is "on the promoter" who had allegedly not paid the singer. He told the crowd that R. Kelly had paid for all the staging himself, and was ready to play, but the promoter was messing everyone over.
"That's bullshit!" people in the crowd responded. "We stood here for 45 minutes just for them to tell us ..."
The vast majority of people simply left. But a handful of "fans" started throwing plastic chairs on the stage.
Aubrey Morris, promoter of the festival, responded.
"Mr. Kelly got two advanced payments. One for $20,000 and another for $50,000," she said.
But poor R. Kelly couldn't catch a break on social media.
— Korvetten Kapitän (@AutoCarbine556) April 27, 2015
And people who want a refund seem to be stuck.
— Elizabeth Coppinger (@eacoppinger) May 9, 2015
Even the folks eager for upcoming shows elsewhere came at him sideways.
— amarillo beef (@MisterMistard) April 25, 2015