R Kelly has responded to multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against him by releasing a 19-minute song I Admit.
The track, posted on the R&B star’s SoundCloud page on Monday, admits to infidelity but denies allegations of paedophilia and non-consensual sex.
The response follows a BBC Three investigation that sparked the #MuteRKelly campaign to limit his business dealings and air-play.
Kelly denies all the allegations.
I Admit sees the singer confess to relationship “mistakes” but fiercely deny illegal sexual acts.
“How they gon’ say I don’t respect these women, when all I’ve done is represent?
“Take my career and turn it upside down, ’cause you mad I’ve got some girlfriends.”
He then sings that he thinks it’s “crazy” to call his behaviour…”paedophile”.
The 51-year-old says he has been unfaithful, singing: “I admit I’m sorry for my sins.”
He also alludes to alcohol abuse and struggles with fame.
‘Only God can mute me’
Kelly has been dogged for years by allegations of sexual abuse, with claims of underage sex, and allegations that he trapped several women in a “sex cult” – all of which he denies.
These claims resurfaced in a BBC Three documentary which featured numerous fresh allegations from Kelly’s former girlfriends.
One partner, 19-year-old Faith Rodgers, subsequently filed a lawsuit alleging the singer “knowingly” infected her with a sexually transmitted disease, while subjecting her to mental, physical and verbal abuse.
A representative for the singer “categorically” denied all the claims and allegations at the time.
And I Admit sees Kelly offer a second rebuttal.
“Said I’m abusing these women… that’s… absurd.
“They’re brainwashed, really? Kidnapped, really? Can’t eat, really? Real talk, that… sound silly.”
‘Stop making admissions in songs’
One of the women at the centre of the “sex cult” allegations is Jocelyn Savage.
She told the TMZ website last year that she was not in a cult and was not being brainwashed, but was “in a happy place in my life”.
After the song came out, the lawyer representing the 23-year-old’s parents told the Hip Hop Enquirer: “This is R Kelly’s attempt to shift the narrative and make himself out to be the victim.
Gerald Griggs continued: “Stop making admissions in the form of songs that could be detrimental to his position in this case.
“If he wants our… case to end, reunite the daughter with her family, stop making music, stop tweeting, stop instagramming. Put her on a plane. Or make her available in person. It’s very simple.”
Later in his new song, Kelly addresses his accusers directly – taking explicit aim at the #MuteRKelly movement for a second time.
The campaign discourages people from listening to Kelly’s music as a result of the allegations against him and has asked his record label, concert promoters, ticket sellers and streaming services to withdraw their support.
Spotify and Apple Music removed the singer from their playlists in response.
“You may have your opinions, entitled to your opinions/But really am I supposed to go to jail or lose my career because of your opinion?” the song continues.
“Yeah, go ahead and stone me, point your finger at me. Turn the world against me, but only god can mute me,” he says.
The track also sees Kelly reflect, and acknowledge that, as a child, he was himself a victim of sexual abuse.
He also sings: “I never thought it would come to this, to be the most disrespected artist.
“So I had to write a song about this, ’cause they always take my words and twist it.”