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R. Kelly Pleads Not Guilty

Singer faces fifteen years

June 27, 2002 12:00 AM ET

R. Kelly pleaded not guilty to twenty-one counts of child pornography in a Chicago court yesterday.

The singer, whose real name is Robert Kelly, was indicted by a grand jury on June 5th. The charges stem from a videotape that authorities claim shows Kelly engaged in sex with an underage girl.

Kelly has denied he is the man on the tape, and his attorney, Edward Genson, has said that the other person on the tape was of age at the time the video was made.

Meanwhile, Kelly is free on $75,000 bond and has addressed the charges in a new song, "Heaven, I Need a Hug." The song, which is slated for Kelly's next album, Loveland, accuses fans of rushing to judgement in the case. "You smile in my face and tell me you love me/But then before you know the truth you're so quick to judge me," Kelly sings. The song premiered last week on Chicago radio station WGCI FM.

If convicted, Kelly could be sentenced to fifteen years in prison and fined $100,000 dollars.

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Song Stories

“Santa Monica”

Everclear | 1996

After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

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