As the trial still continues for R. Kelly, members and writers of the Wrap-Up Magazine would like to send out its prayers to the singer has his life depend on a few votes. Here is a look at the key moments as jury deliberates.
The jury has retired in R. Kelly's sex trafficking trial in New York, after a month of testimony regarding the star's alleged sexual abuse of men, women and underage girls.
See Our R. Kelly Articles
The 54-year-old is facing one charge of racketeering - which positions him as the head of a criminal enterprise that preyed on young women - and eight counts of trafficking girls and women across state lines for prostitution.
Once one of the world's biggest pop stars, Mr Kelly was initially arrested on these charges in July 2019, but his trial was delayed because of the Covid-19 pandemic and scheduling issues with separate cases he faces in other states.
In their closing arguments, prosecutors painted Mr Kelly as a predator who destroyed the lives of people around him.
"He used lies, manipulation, threats and physical abuse to dominate his victims," said assistant US attorney Elizabeth Geddes, adding that his immense wealth and fame allowed him to "hide in plain sight".
Mr Kelly's lawyers sought to attack the credibility of the witnesses who accused him of sexual and physical abuse, saying their stories were manufactured or exaggerated, and casting them as opportunists cashing in on his fame.
"They're monetizing. They know what the game is. They're surviving off of R. Kelly," Deveraux Cannick told the jury.
Mr Kelly, whose full name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, has pleaded not guilty on all counts but refused the opportunity to testify in his defense. If convicted, he faces between 10 years in prison and a life sentence. Here are the key moments from the trial, many of which readers may find upsetting.
Mr Kelly is not charged with rape or assault, but prosecutors have been allowed to present evidence of potential crimes related to the racketeering charge, regardless of when they occurred.
As such, they have called more than half a dozen witnesses who said they were abused by Mr Kelly while they were underage.
Both male and female, they described being approached by the star or one of his associates after a concert, in a shopping mall, or in a McDonald's, and being slipped a phone number. Often, Mr Kelly would offer to mentor their music career, they alleged, in return for sexual favors.
Several witnesses claimed Kelly kept them in a constant state of fear, demanding they follow his stringent rules,and ordering them to call him "Daddy". Those who disobeyed were punished, sometimes with degrading sexual acts, they claimed. Two women accused the star of rape.
Mr Kelly's defense portrayed the women as "groupies" and jilted lovers, who were seeking revenge after falling out of favor with the star.
Antonio Jean offers an introspective look at love, loss and betrayal with new ballad ‘Need’
ARLINGTON, VA – Music has always been at the forefront of Antonio Jean’s life. It’s the thing that his family has used over the years to cope with any hardships they would face. For Antonio, the biggest hardship he ever faced was the loss of his mother – Carol Jean McLean – to cancer in 2018. She was the most important person in his life, and in an effort to always carry her with him in everything he does he adopted the stage name Antonio Jean. Today, operating under that stage name, he creates some of the most intriguing and entertaining music available in the industry today.
On Sept. 29 he’s set to release his new single “Need,” which showcases his impressive natural talent while also sending out positive vibes to listeners who need encouragement after a heartbreak. Stemming from life experiences of dealing with people who promised to have his back but then weren’t there when he needed them most, the song shines a light on the fakers and the haters of the world.
“One of the lines in the song says, ‘How many times would you say you love me? How many times would you say you care? But you’ve been a non-existent shadow. You’ve been heartache and pain.’” Antonio said. “Ultimately the song talks about the kind of love that you should model to others. I’ve experienced a lot of heartache in life with family and friends and people who said they were going to do one thing and then never actually did what they said. We all go through stuff like that, but we can move on at the end of the day. That’s not a love that’s going to model what we need.”
Through his R&B ballad, Antonio offers a song that many people around the world can connect with. By exploring themes of love and pain and persistence through challenges, he brings a very heartfelt and authentic track during a time when the world is actively seeking that transparent realness. And this is just the first of many singles to come in the next few months. Antonio said he plans to follow up “Need” with the Pop/Rock up-tempo jam “What Would We Do Without Love” in the next couple of months.
“I really hope my music is known for uplifting someone,” he said. “I want my music to be about helping someone recognize that something in their life isn’t good for them and they need to move on. My music is about finding yourself and self-empowerment and self-love and self-care. Love yourself. Choose you first. There’s only one you at the end of the day. And love is the centerpiece of everything. If it’s real, true love then it’s going to hold everything together. In this world I don’t feel like we have enough of it, genuinely.”
To listen to Antonio Jean’s music, or to follow him on social media, please visit the following links:
Instagram - AntonioJean88
Facebook - Antonio TheVoice Jean
In the 90s, Dr. Dre was laying the foundation for his illustrious career, producing many hit records and working with some of the most respected artists in the game. It goes without saying that Dr. Dre has always kept his ear to the streets and is partly responsible for the rise of many MC’s.
One of the lesser known acts he brought into the game is an artist from Virginia Known as Lady of Rage.