R Kelly tour announcement sparks 'serious concerns' in Australia after Surviving documentary

R&B singer chose to reveal the tour over social media on the eve that an explosive new documentary, which details the allegations he has faced over the past two decades, was aired in the UK

Roisin O'Connor
Music Correspondent
Wednesday 06 February 2019 08:32
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Survivng R Kelly: the docuseries - trailer

R Kelly has caused uproar by announcing a new tour in Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka as he faces intense, fresh scrutiny over allegations of sexual abuse.

The R&B singer chose to reveal the tour over social media on the eve that an explosive new documentary, which details the allegations he has faced over the past two decades, was aired in the UK.

Kelly has vehemently denied accusations that he abused multiple women and underage girls, and he has never been convicted of a crime.

Dates and venues for the tour have not yet been listed, but its announcement has sparked outrage in Australia, where the shadow minister for immigration and border protection, Shayne Neumann, said the Labor party would be "seriously concerned" if Kelly was allowed into the country. Australia has previously denied visas to Chris Brown and Floyd Mayweather following similar allegations of violence towards women.

"Labor strongly supports the refusal or cancellation of visas of non-citizens on character or criminal grounds," Mr Neumann said in a statement. "Labor would be seriously concerned if immigration minister David Coleman would allow an individual such as R Kelly into Australia.

"If the immigration minister suspects that a non-citizen does not pass the character test, or there is a risk to the community while they are in Australia, he should use the powers he has under the Migration Act to deny or cancel their visa."

Most of Kelly's scheduled concerts in the US have been cancelled due to public protest and/or poor ticket sales.

A spokseperson for Australia's home affairs department said it did not comment on individual cases, but "all non-citizens entering Australia must meet, and continue to meet, the character requirements set out in the Migration Act 1958 (the Act). There are strong provisions under the Act to refuse or cancel a visa where a person is found not to be of good character."

Since the Surviving R Kelly documentary aired in the US in January, a number of high profile musicians have apologised for working with him, including Lady Gaga and Chance the Rapper. He was also dropped from his record label, RCA, on 18 January. RCA did not make a public announcement about the decision, although it removed Kelly from its website that day.

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