AceShowbiz - Akon has landed in hot water over his comment about R. Kelly's conviction. The "Right Now (Na Na Na)" crooner faced backlash online after saying that the "I Believe I Can Fly" hitmaker should be given a second chance to "redeem" his mistakes.
"I believe that God makes no mistakes. People can debate back and forth all day but if it's happening to him, it's supposed to happen to him, for whatever reason," so said the 48-year-old singer during an interview with TMZ. "Now, that's something that he has to have within himself to reevaluate his whole life, his way of being."
Akon, born Aliaune Damala Badara Akon Thiam, further elaborated, "Because to get caught up in a situation like that, whatever happens, between him and God." He then said, "There is always a way to redeem yourself, but you have to first accept the fact that you're wrong."
Akon then stressed that "people aren't here to hate." He stated, "He has the right to redeem himself from those mistakes. Even him. He has the right to try to make right by those he hurt."
Akon added that those people who have allegedly been hurt by Kelly also have the right not to forgive him. However, the "Smack That" crooner believed that "unforgiveness only increases the pain."
When asked to weigh in on Kelly being canceled by people, Akon said, "At the end of the day, you cannot deny his talent." He went on to praise Kelly, "He is one of the greatest R&B artists, writers, producers that came on his business. You can't take that away from him now."
"We're not to be the ones to judge either because we weren't there," Akon concluded. "So, like I said, the only person that can help himself is him and what happened is between him, God and the victims."
Upon learning Akon's statement, many critics on Twitter poured their contrary opinions. "He needs to be locked up and have the key thrown away!! DISGUSTING!!" wrote a user, while another said, "It's always these black men oppressing their fellow black men esp when they are in difficult times."
"What happens to the principles of shutting up when you have nothing nice or words of encouragement or consoling words to give to a brother in difficult times?" a separate critic pointed out. A fourth chimed in, "A little late don't you think??? R. Kelly needs to stop raping girls."
Kelly was found guilty of sexually abusing women, boys and girls. The 54-year-old singer/songwriter was convicted on nine counts, including racketeering and violations of the Mann Act, which prohibits the transport of females across state lines for sex.