Lady Gaga has apologized for collaborating with R. Kelly, and said she will remove their song from streaming services.
This comes after Lifetime last week aired the six-part series, Surviving R. Kelly, which chronicled the serious abuse allegations of several women at the hands of the R&B singer. R. Kelly has denied all of the allegations.
The series has ignited new discussions within both law enforcement and the music community. Several artists have spoken out about the singer, and now Lady Gaga has posted an emotional note discussing the allegations and her own work with R. Kelly.
Included in Gaga’s 2013 album ARTPOP is a duet with R. Kelly, in which the singer compares media scrutiny to a sexual encounter. “You can’t have my heart and you won’t use my mind, but do what you want with my body” Gaga sings before R. Kelly enters for his own innuendo-charged verse and chorus. The two wrote the song together in Chicago, and the song debuted at number 13 on the chart when it was released.
Now after expanded discussions about R. Kelly and potential crimes, Gaga has addressed the renewed scrutiny of artists that have collaborated with him. In a detailed note on Thursday morning, Gaga addressed the documentary and her mental state during the recording of the song. “I stand behind these women 1000%, believe them, know they are suffering and in pain, and feel strongly that their voices should be heard and taken seriously” she wrote. “As a victim of sexual assault myself, I made both the song and video at a dark time in my life. My intention was to create something extremely defiant and provocative because I was angry and still hadn’t processed the trauma that had occurred in my own life.”
“I think it’s clear how explicitly twisted my thinking was at the time.”
Gaga goes on to talk about the advice that she would have given her younger self, urging therapy or seeking help to speak “openly and honestly as possible about what we’ve been through.”
“I share this not to make excuses for myself, but to explain. Till it happens to you, you don’t know it feels, but I do know how I feel now.”
Gaga states her intention to remove the song from iTunes and all available platforms, and vows not to work with R. Kelly again. “I’m sorry for both my poor judgment when I was young, and for not speaking out sooner.”
You can read Lady Gaga’s full note below.