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R. Kelly’s New York City Show Has Been Canceled

CHICAGO, IL - MAY 07: R. Kelly performs during The Buffet Tour at Allstate Arena on May 7, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images)

An upcoming R. Kelly concert at Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater in New York City has been canceled. A representative of the concert’s promotion company confirmed the cancelation in a phone conversation with Spin after Ticketmaster’s website ceased selling tickets to the event on Thursday.

According to Victory Promotions, the South Carolina-based promoter, the cancelation is due to Hurricane Florence, which is forecast to pummel the region through the weekend. The representative said that the storm would make it difficult for the production crew working the concert to travel to New York for its scheduled date of Saturday, September 15.

The New York City booking would have been Kelly’s most high-profile concert in some time, after the surfacing of new sexual abuse allegations that have threatened to derail his career. In July, the iconic R&B singer released “I Admit,” a strange 19-minute song with lyrics that included denials of any wrongdoing and direct references to a reporter who is responsible for breaking many of the stories about his alleged abuse over the years.

“MSG has a long history of not censoring performers,” a Madison Square Garden representative told Spin of the potentially controversial booking last month. “We believe artists have the right to rent our venues to put on their own event, and that the public then has the choice whether or not to support that event.”

Based on the Ticketmaster page for the concert before it was canceled, tickets were not selling particularly well. As of this week, many seats were still available in front and middle sections, and entire rear sections were blocked off, indicating that they may have been closed to sales. However, the Victory Promotions representative said that sales were not a factor in the decision to cancel the show. See a screenshot of the Ticketmaster page below.

R. Kelly's New York City Show Has Been Canceled