Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Now Phoenix has apologized for working with R. Kelly

Photo: Christopher Polk (Getty Images for Coachella )

Sexual misconduct allegations have followed R. Kelly for years, resurfacing every decade or so when an accuser takes him to court or when BuzzFeed News puts out a damning piece in which he’s accused of keeping young women trapped in an abusive sex cult, but it wasn’t until Lifetime’s Surviving R. Kelly docuseries made the allegations much harder to ignore that musical artists who collaborated with Kelly in the past have begun to distance themselves from him. Earlier today, Lady Gaga issued a statement apologizing for working with Kelly on her 2013 song “Do What U Want (With My Body,” saying that she recorded the song during a “dark time” when she hadn’t fully processed her own sexual assault and pledging to get the song pulled from streaming services.

Now, the band Phoenix has shared a similar statement (via Pitchfork), saying on Twitter that the members “are deeply horrified by the stories of abuse surrounding R. Kelly” and noting that they regret not being “more informed and more discerning” when they worked with him. Phoenix had Kelly appear on a remix of the track “Trying To be Cool” in 2013 and even performed with Kelly onstage at Coachella in that same year.


Phoenix hasn’t said if it intends to follow Gaga’s lead by pulling the song from streaming services, though, as it—and its prominent “Featuring R. Kelly” artwork—are at least still available on Spotify.

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