R. Kelly Defends Chris Brown, Drawing Parallel to Muhammad Ali, MLK and Jesus

(Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

(Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

Today being December 10th, R&B star R. Kelly‘s twelfth studio album Black Panties is officially dropping at retailers around the country (although it was made available digitally on December 6).

Kelly’s current promotional campaign has found him performing with album collaborator 2 Chainz on a recent episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live! as well as rolling out a heartfelt tribute to the recently deceased Nelson Mandela on The Arsenio Hall Show.

During a recent interview with The Guardian, however, a Kelly observation comparing embattled pop star Chris Brown to such iconic figures as Martin Luther King and Jesus Christ himself has some wondering if the eccentric superstar has gone too far.

“I only feel sorry for weak people,” Kelly said in the interview when asked if he ever felt sorry for Chris Brown in light of the fallout he’s faced following the now-infamous 2009 assault on ex-girlfriend Rihanna. “And mostly what I’ve come to find is that the weak people are the ones that are the haters. The ones that’s talking about Chris Brown, or R Kelly, or anybody that’s successful? I feel sorry for them, not Chris Brown, because he’s obviously one strong individual to be able to do what he’s done. He got knocked down a little bit and he climbed up. You know, that sounds like Ali to me. That sounds like Martin Luther King to me. That sounds like a lot of the greats that have walked this earth. It even sounds a little bit like Jesus to me.”

Kelly quickly backtracked on the statement, adding, “I’m not saying that Chris Brown is Jesus or R Kelly is Jesus. But Jesus is the No. 1 inspirer of someone being knocked down and rising again.”

The singer also took the opportunity to fire back at Macklemore and Ryan Lewis for the line in “Thrift Shop” that makes fun of Kelly in a rather graphic manner.

“I see them as weak too,” Kelly said regarding the Seattle rap duo. “But I don’t get into what people think of me, I’ve graduated from that.”

While Kelly has yet to announce a tour in support of Black Panties, the artist does have a few upcoming concert dates, including a New Year’s Eve show with Doug E. Fresh at Detroit’s historic Masonic Temple.

More from Scott T. Sterling

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