R. Kelly Can’t Get Enough of Africa — and Vice Versa
CHICAGO, Sept. 1 /PRNewswire/ — Riding off the momentum generated by his stunning performance at the opening ceremonies of last June’s FIFA World Cup in Johannesburg, R&B superstar R. Kelly returned home to Chicago this weekend after his third trip to Africa this year, this one including a special surprise performance for President Jose Eduardo dos Santos of Angola.
In addition to his June trip to Johannesburg, where he performed his stirring ballad (and official World Cup anthem) “Sign of a Victory,” Kelly visited Uganda in January (performing before more than 40,000 fans at Lugogo Cricket Oval in Kampala), and Angola last week.
“Visiting Africa is always exciting and inspiring for me, both musically and personally,” said Kelly. “Even though I hate flying, I’m always willing to get on an airplane if the destination is Africa.”
While in Angola last week, Kelly performed for 20,000 fans at a benefit concert in Luanda for the Special Olympics of Angola, after which he attended a basketball game at the Special Olympics and donated several specially-designed wheelchairs. He also serenaded President Eduardo dos Santos at a surprise party celebrating the longtime leader’s 68th birthday. “Robert was the most accommodating and warm artist to ever visit Angola,” said Karina Barbosa of STEP Productions, which produced the benefit concert.
Kelly will be returning to Africa in December to perform in several countries.
In the meantime, Kelly is getting ready for the release later this year of his eleventh studio album, Love Letter. The first single off the album, a soulful R&B ballad in the vein of Sam Cooke and Marvin Gaye called “When A Woman Loves,” drops on Sept. 7 and is already making waves. It will debut at No. 24 on Billboard’s Urban Adult Contemporary chart — the most powerful debut by a male vocalist since Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” debuted at No. 16 last year.
SOURCE R. Kelly