R. Kelly should receive honor for music, not image

Tavia Green

For good and bad, R. Kelly, the musical artist that people said put the “R” in “R&B” has been on TV a lot in the past year.

R. Kelly is an artist people don’t forget easily. He’s an artist that sings about an array of topics, emotions and situations, and can make a sexy ballad, a soulful heartfelt song or a rhythmic dance diddy.

He’s sung about bumping and grinding, feeling on a woman’s booty and even comparing women to motor vehicles. But he’s also motivated young people to fulfill their dreams and believe they can “Fly”, encouraged them to be the “World’s Greatest” and made touching songs about love, death and pain.

He is no doubt a man of many musical talents. But it has been clouded by scandal.

R. Kelly has been nominated for an Image Award from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He was nominated for his work on his album, “The Chocolate Factory.”

The award is given to black entertainers in various fields. According to the official NAACP Web site, the award “honors projects and individuals whom have demonstrated exemplary works by and for people of color.”

But people are questioning whether he deserves the award because of his recent litigation. He is being tried for 21 counts of pornography.

People think he doesn’t deserve the Image Award because of his “image.” They all heard about his supposed romp with the little girl, which he denies. Although he has not been proven guilty of the accusations, his image has suffered.

But the image of the black man in the media is seldom positive. It’s no big surprise that you see black men going to court, jail or being arrested in the news rather than being awarded for their talents.

Although this court case has taken its toll on his suave, sexy aura, he is the one of the best in entertainment.

While most focused on his accusations, he put together a hit album under pressure. He produced “The Chocolate Factory” album under the heat of a trial and dealt with the death of his mother. The album was an array of sounds, from classic love ballads to club dancing salsa flavor.

The NAACP wants to give him the Image Award because of his musical talent on this album.

His music and his personal life are two different things. So why do people question the merit of his music based on a bootleg porno tape?

In no way do I condone Kelly if he was involved in pornography of minors. He may have a problem in that department.

But everyone makes mistakes and you can’t hold his sins or mistakes over his head forever. He has musical talent. He’s been in the industry for a long time and has seven chart topping albums.

His mistakes shouldn’t cost him the chance to be honored for what he is good at.

Tavia Green is a freshman news-editorial major from Hopkinsville.

This commentary does not reflect the views of the Herald, Western or its administration.