Dubai Officials Want Nothing to Do With R. Kelly or His Concerts

R. Kelly makes a court appearance in Chicago. (Credit: Shutterstock)

There seems to be some confusion over the concerts R. Kelly is supposed to perform next month in Dubai.

Despite claims by Kelly’s attorney, Steven A. Greenberg, that the singer is booked to perform 3-5 shows in the United Arab Emirates city, the Dubai government issued a statement Sunday denying there are any plans in place for Kelly to take the stage.

“Authorities in Dubai have not received any request for a performance by singer R. Kelly nor are there any venues that have been booked,” the government’s Dubai Media Office told The Associated Press, adding that Kelly “has not been invited by the Dubai royal family for a performance.”

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Last month Kelly was arrested and charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse for allegedly assaulting four females, including three underage girls. The Grammy-winning performer has denied the allegations, which emerged after Lifetime aired the six-part docuseries Surviving R. Kelly.

Sunday’s rare statement from the Dubai government came just days after Kelly’s legal team filed a motion on March 20 in Chicago, seeking permission for the cash-strapped singer to get his passport back, after handing it over as part of his $1 million bond agreement.

“Before he was arrested Mr. Kelly had signed a contract to perform between 3-5 shows in Dubai, UAE, in April 2019,” the court filing stated. “He requests permission to travel to Dubai for the shows. While there he is supposed to meet with the royal family.”

On March 22, Kelly’s lawyers asked the judge in the case to delay ruling on the request, saying they wanted more time to gather details for the court.

Following the Dubai government’s denial, Greenberg tried to clear things up.

“Mr. Kelly had a signed contract with a legitimate promoter, and any information that was included in the motion to travel was from that contract. We did not say he was invited by the royal family, but the contract did provide that he would make himself available to meet with them,” he told the AP.

The United States does not have an extradition treaty with the UAE. However, Greenberg denied the Fiesta singer is trying to flee the country to avoid prosecution.

“The idea that R. Kelly would ask for permission to travel in order to flee is nonsensical,” he told Rolling Stone.