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Petition Calls To Remove R. Kelly From Soulquarius Festival 2017

The lineup for the first annual Soulquarius Festival was announced yesterday (December 19). The event, scheduled for February 18 in Santa Ana, California, is set to be headlined by R. Kelly and Erykah Badu, with the likes of Ja Rule & Ashanti, Jhené Aiko, The Pharcyde, The-Dream and more than a dozen other acts also booked to perform.

The lineup for the first annual Soulquarius Festival was announced yesterday (December 19). The event, scheduled for February 18 in Santa Ana, California, is set to be headlined by R. Kelly and Erykah Badu, with the likes of Ja Rule & Ashanti, Jhené Aiko, The Pharcyde, The-Dream and more than a dozen other acts also booked to perform.

However, less than 24 hours after the lineup was announced, a petition has surfaced on Change.org calling for R. Kelly to be removed from the festival. The petition, titled “Kick R.Kelly’s rapist ass off the SOULQUARIUS lineup,” has garnered more than 1,000 signatures since it launched. The goal is currently set at 1,500.

The writeup for the petition reads:

“The Observatory venue of Orange County released an awesome lineup for their SOULQUARIUS event February 18th, with the exception of R.Kelly. Despite an endless flood of abuse allegations and widespread knowledge of his notorious ‘romance’ with the late singer Aaliyah, who was age 15 to his 27 years, Kelly has maintained a relatively successful career. It’s this sort of nonchalance and casual embrace of abusers that rests at the fulcrum of rape culture, violence against women, and in this case, misogynoir. 2017 is around the corner and many of us still have to look on in disgust as a proven predator, rapist, and serial abuser of young Black girls and women remains embraced in the world of music. Stop booking this man. Stop supporting this man. There’s great power in having a voice. Let’s send a message that the music is not ‘separate’ and the abuse of girls and women is *never* okay, no matter who you are or how many timeless ballads you’ve contributed to the world.”

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