Timbaland faces backlash for saying R.Kelly is still the 'king of R&B' despite being convicted of sex-trafficking
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Music producer Timbaland has come under fire for saying convicted sex offender R. Kelly is 'the king of R&B'.
Kelly, 56, was sentenced in February to 20 years in prison over child sex crimes after a jury found he had created videos of himself sexually abusing his 14-year-old goddaughter.
His sentencing came after Kelly was convicted on racketeering and sex trafficking charges; crimes which had already earned him 30 years behind bars.
Federal prosecutors in the February case claimed the singer had a 'lack of remorse' over his crimes and would therefore pose a danger to society if released, and as a result of his crimes, the singer was widely shunned from the music world.
In spite of this, Timbaland shared a controversial opinion about Kelly during an appearance on the Club Shay Shay podcast, as he and host, Shannon Sharpe, discussed whether it was possible to separate Kelly's crimes from his music.
On the show, Timbaland said: "R. Kelly's the king of R&B. We all know that, man."
"Everybody jump when you say R. Kelly," he told Sharpe. "I'm like, so we just gonna ignore his music that he gave us, that we all jam to? No, we can't do that. His art is his art, I ain't gonna bash the man's art."
Timbaland, who has also released tracks including 'Apologize' and 'If We Ever Meet Again' featuring Katy Perry, went on to argue that music should not be mixed up with 'personal'.
"Music is a feeling, it stands alone," he continued. "Music is something that don't have no race, it brings people together. It don't have no drama with it. It is a place of enjoyment; a feeling, so don't bring drama into music. Leave that outside."
Timbaland's comments sparked backlash from music fans online, with one Twitter user claiming that his beliefs equated to him saying he 'didn't care' about Kelly's crimes.
"Timbaland could literally just say, I do not care that r Kelly was participating in despicable acts against young girls," they wrote.
Another critical fan added: "I wonder if Timbaland would say this if it was one of his relatives who were held against their will by R. Kelly and taken advantage of ... hmmmm."
At Kelly's most recent sentencing, the judge ruled that all but one year of the prison sentence would be served at the same time as his 30 year sentence, meaning the singer is looking at a total of 31 years in prison.
UNILAD has contacted representatives for Timbaland for comment.