Timbaland has asserted that R Kelly is “the king of R&B”.
R Kelly was sentenced to 31 years in prison over sex trafficking charges after the Lifetime documentary Surviving R Kelly brought his crimes to light.
In a recent episode of the Club Shay Shay podcast, Timbaland told host Shannon Sharpe that, despite R Kelly’s history as a sex trafficker, the 51-year-old producer believed Kelly was still the best in his genre.
“R Kelly’s the king of R&B. We all know that man,” noted Timbaland (real name Timothy Zachery Mosley). “And it’s funny… everybody jump when you say R Kelly. I’m like, so we just gonna ignore the music that he gave us, that we all jam to?”
The producer – who has collaborated with Justin Timberlake, Nelly Furtado, and others – also urged podcast listeners to separate art from the artist.
“His art is his art; I ain’t going to bash the man’s art,” he said. “Don’t mix music up with personal… Don’t bring drama into music. Leave that outside.”
R Kelly was banned in 2021 from using or creating YouTube channels, with the Google-owned platform also shutting down his previous channels RKellyVevo and RKellyTV. However, his songs have remained on Spotify and Apple Music.