#MuteRKelly plans protest ahead of singer’s concert in Greensboro

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- If you drive down Gate City Boulevard in Greensboro, you’ll notice the "Memory Lane Tour" digital sign that flashes across the screen in front of the Greensboro Coliseum.

It will be one of the first things that fans see Friday night before Grammy Award-winning R&B singer, R. Kelly hits the stage.

However, local activists tell FOX8 that the singer shouldn’t be performing.

“I think now it's just a different time where his victims know one, he has the support and two, their voices are going to be heard,” said Brandi Collins-Calhoun, director of Reproductive and Maternal Health at the YWCA Greensboro.

Calhoun is a part of #MuteRKelly, which is a collection of organizations from across the country coming together to ban the singer from events and boycott his music after years allegations of sexual misconduct against women.

“Those coins and that revenue that is going into R. Kelly’s pocket are the same coins and revenue he has used as power. As a silencer,” she said.

In a video tweet on April 29, Kelly said, “I never heard of a show being canceled because of rumors.” This was in response to his May 5 show in Chicago being canceled after protests.

Calhoun sent a letter to the Greensboro Coliseum asking them to "do the right thing by canceling his concert.”

A spokesperson for the coliseum declined to comment and told us that the show will go on.

R. Kelly’s management team released this statement to FOX8 Thursday:

“R. Kelly looks forward to his concert this Friday night at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex in Greensboro, N.C. He has put on concerts for 30 years, performances of great music, shared affection and wonderful entertainment, to the love and enjoyment of millions of his fans. A publicity-driven protest by a handful of people is in keeping with their First Amendment rights, and they are free to skip the event. Just as fans of R. Kelly have the First Amendment right to attend his concerts without reprisal and share their love of R&B.”

“The community isn't here for this. We are not going to stand for this. We are not going to support it,” Calhoun said.

Thursday, the music streaming company Spotify decided to pull his music from promotions and playlists.

The singer’s management team releasing a statement regarding Spotify's decision:

“We appreciate Spotify for continuing to make R. Kelly’s songs accessible to millions of people, although it will stop listing his songs on its official playlists.

"Spotify is adopting a new “Hate Content & Hateful Conduct” policy. R Kelly never has been accused of hate, and the lyrics he writes express love and desire.

"Mr. Kelly for 30 years has sung songs about his love and passion for women. He is innocent of the false and hurtful accusations in the ongoing smear campaign against him, waged by enemies seeking a payoff. He never has been convicted of a crime, nor does he have any pending criminal charges against him.

"Spotify has the right to promote whatever music it chooses, and in this case its actions are without merit. It is acting based on false and unproven allegations. It is bowing to social-media fads and picking sides in a fame-seeking dispute over matters that have nothing to do with serving customers.

"Meanwhile, though, Spotify promotes numerous other artists who are convicted felons, others who have been arrested on charges of domestic violence and artists who sing lyrics that are violent and anti-women in nature.

"Mr. Kelly falls into none of these categories, and it is unfortunate and shortsighted that Spotify fails to recognize this.”

Calhoun says protesters plan to gather across the street from the coliseum starting at 6 p.m. Friday.

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