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  • R Kelly’s lawyer confirms singer married Aaliyah when she was 15 but claims he had ‘no idea’ – The Independent
R Kelly’s lawyer confirms singer married Aaliyah when she was 15 but claims he had ‘no idea’ – The Independent

R Kelly’s lawyer confirms singer married Aaliyah when she was 15 but claims he had ‘no idea’ – The Independent

11 January 2019 MUSIC


R Kelly’s lawyer has confirmed the singer married Aaliyah when she was 15 years old – but is claiming Kelly had ‘no idea’ that was her real age.

Steven Greenberg spoke to Good Morning America in a segment that aired on Friday morning. 

He pushed back against accusations of sexual abuse against Kelly, which are detailed in the six-part Lifetime documentary Surviving R Kelly.

Asked whether Kelly married Aaliyah – whose full name was Aaliyah Haughton – when she was 15, Greenberg said: “He was married to her when she was 15.”

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Greenberg then referenced Priscilla Presley, who married Elvis Presley when she was 21 years old after meeting him aged 14.

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He then claimed that Kelly wasn’t aware of Aaliyah’s age.

“My understanding is that she did not claim to be 15 and, in order to get married, she had to lie about her age. [He had] no idea,” Greenberg said of Kelly.

Kelly is now 52 and was 12 years Aaliyah’s senior.

Surviving R Kelly has prompted several celebrities to publicly denounce Kelly. John Legend participated in the documentary.

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1/40 40. Thom Yorke – Suspiria

                Thom Yorke’s first ever soundtrack summons the darkness of horror, and the terror of blood and evil, over 25 tracks.

A handful of these are among Yorke’s best solo work. The Radiohead frontman’s debut piece written for the 007 film Spectre was a sparse piano-led ballad, and “Suspirium”, the first single to be released from this soundtrack, takes that same intimate approach to desolate depths

2/40 39. Interpol – Marauder

                Marauder is Interpol’s most experimental to date, blending everything from rough garage rock to Motown rhythms. The band appear reinvigorated, brimming with energy and self-assurance.

3/40 38. Brent Cobb – Providence Canyon

                Brent Cobb’s music is built around people and places. The country artist returns after the release of his acclaimed 2016 album Shine On Rainy Day with Providence Canyon; a slice of blue-collar country offering fresh tales of Southern life

4/40 37. Black Peaks – All That Divides

                The Brighton metal band’s sublime second album is their most ambitious to date. Enlisting Adrian Bushby (Foo Fighters, Muse) on production was a master-stroke – with his help they offer up vast sonic landscapes that recall the drama of Darion Malakian’s Scars on Broadway record, Dictator

5/40 36. Miya Folick – Premonitions

                One moment opining the joys of leaving a party to pluck your eyebrows, the next raging over the gaslighting of assault survivors, Miya Folick’s debut album continues her habit of cracking the shiny veneer of pop, and unsettling the exceptions put upon a feminine voice

6/40 35) Suede – The Blue Hour

                Though their themes remain in the gutter, Suede aspire to monuments, and The Blue Hour will stand as another sordid masterwork

7/40 34. Cat Power – Wanderer

                Six years after the release of her last LP Sun, Cat Power – whose struggles with alcoholism, addiction and mental health issues have been much publicised – demonstrates “both a newfound sense of calm, and strength” on her new album

8/40 33. Architects – Holy Hell

                Holy Hell offers up some of the best tracks of the band’s career, with a through-line that maintains Tom Searle's role as an integral part of Architects, particularly on “Doomsday”, while “Hereafter” feels like the song that launches the album’s momentum. Listening to vocalist Sam Carter scream: “I wasn’t braced for the fallout” is intensely cathartic – even non-metal fans will find it hard not to be moved by the band’s sincerity. (RO)

9/40 32. Robyn – Honey

                Even in discarding such basic pop necessities as melody, Robyn has managed to create a masterpiece. With her first album in seven years, the Swedish singer delivers nine songs that glow and pulse with bittersweet sensuality, sung in a voice that sifts over the synths like icing sugar

10/40 31. Florence & the Machine – High as Hope

                On Florence & The Machine’s latest album High As Hope, her voice is just as powerful when she holds back. She seems to attribute much of this calmness to her new-found sobriety – she quit alcohol a few years ago and looks back on her twenties with a mix of fondness and regret

11/40 30. Teyana Taylor – Keep that Same Energy

                She’s not restricted by genre constraints, and K.T.S.E. (Keep That Same Energy) is a pleasant surprise. Embellished with producer Kanye West’s keen ear for samples, it blends Eighties nostalgia with fresh rap and R&B. At the core of the project is Taylor’s love of pleasing herself, her relationship with her husband, and being a mother

12/40 29. The 1975 – A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships

                On their third and best album, A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships, The 1975 have created what so many post-Radiohead bands couldn’t: a coherent pop statement with enough hope, radical honesty and genre-spanning breadth to make sense across divided generations

13/40 28. Kamasi Washington – Heaven and Earth

                For a new generation, Kamasi Washington is largely responsible for the revitalised interest in jazz in modern music, most notably with his work on Kendrick Lamar’s jazz-heavy masterpiece, To Pimp a Butterfly. On Heaven and Earth, the Los Angeles saxophonist and band leader splits his second record in two halves: the urgent Earth side explores reality while Heaven deals in dreamy opulence

14/40 27. Novelist – Novelist Guy

                The 21-year-old south London MC Novelist’s debut album is a clear, concise look at the current social and political landscape of the UK, offering up astute observations on black masculinity and the music industry along the way.

15/40 26. Nils Frahm – All Melody

                The German composer’s 10th solo album is a stirring, complex work that draws on the concept of connection; a fluidity in the way the universe works

16/40 25. Camila Cabello – Camila

                Camila Cabello's debut solo album is the first time fans have been able to see her clearly

17/40 24. Mitski – Be The Cowboy

                On Mitski's brilliant fifth album she is desperate and lonely one minute, hardened and withdrawn the next. Her music, which exists in a space between fierce, guitar-led walls of noise and soft, delicate balladry, feels like an open wound – and Be The Cowboy is no different. (AP)

18/40 23. Years & Years – Palo Santo

                Frontman Olly Alexander is offering fans their own generational pop icon: a young man who has the courage to put all of that vibrant, dynamic character on full display

19/40 22. Courtney Barnett – Tell Me How You Really Feel

                On Tell Me How You Really Feel, Courtney Barnett turns her keen eye inwards, exploring anxiety and depression while coming to terms with her own emotional life. Written as her burgeoning stature and hectic touring schedule began to take their toll, these 10 songs are Barnett’s attempt to work through her vulnerability and sadness

20/40 21. Blood Orange – Negro Swan

                For Negro Swan, Blood Orange’s fourth album, the multi-instrumentalist has dreamed up a 16-song suite that weaves together impressionist psych-pop and interstellar funk, late-Seventies Marvin Gaye and early-Eighties Prince, with some tangled ballads and insomniac blues reminiscent of Elliott Smith and King Krule thrown into the pot

“Brother, we’ve seen it all and we’re tired,” Hynes sings on the A$AP Rocky-featuring “Chewing Gum”. In the company of friends, music and tradition, he’s made a kind of spiritual headquarters, somewhere the disheartened can take cover and, with an eye on tomorrow, regroup. (JM)

21/40 20. Cardi B – Invasion of Privacy

                When she sings off the hook, it’s just another moment where Cardi B runs to her own rhythm: because nothing about Invasion of Privacy is formulaic

22/40 19. Let’s Eat Grandma – I’m All Ears

                With producer SOPHIE on board (whose own album, also released this year, is well worth your time), they explore the anxieties and frustrations of being a teenage girl through clattering beats and Nokia samples. The result is exceptional

23/40 18. Ghetts – Ghetto Gospel: The New Testament

                Ghetts re-evaluates much of what he said on Ghetto Gospel, when he was frustrated and angry with the world. Now he looks more to the future, whether on “Next of Kin”, where he speaks from the perspective of a mother carrying her child’s coffin, or “Black Rose”, which addresses fears for his daughter in a society that places double standards on black women. It’s a reminder that grime is so much more than violence and threats. (RO)

24/40 17. Cypress Hill – Elephants on Acid

                Elephants on Acid is a 21-track monster, loaded with twists and turns that take you as far as Egypt, where Muggs recorded much of “Band of Gypsies” – teaming up with artists on oud, sitar, keyboard and guitar, as well as some of its street musicians. Its lead hook harks back to the glitchy shrieks of “How I Could Just Kill a Man” from their eponymous 1991 debut.

25/40 16. John Grant – Love is Magic

                His brilliant fourth album Love Is Magic takes listeners on a similar thrill ride, dominated by swirling loops of grand, romantic melody, sly twists of sardonic wit and heart-stopping drops of sheer honesty

26/40 15. Pusha T – Daytona

                His third record, produced entirely by Kanye West, could easily have been an EP, coming in at just seven songs and 21 minutes. While many fans were disappointed by the erratic and self-indulgent nature of some of West’s other releases, including his own album ye, the beats on Daytona are sample-heavy and superb; the instrumentation is sparse but all the more impactful for it

27/40 14. Nao – Saturn

                Since her debut single – the AK Paul-featuring “So Good” – was released in 2014, London-based singer-songwriter NAO has hovered around a near-perfect brand of sultry, neo-soul-inflected R&B. Four years later, and she seems to have mastered it

28/40 13. Travis Scott – Astroworld

                The third solo album from the US artist stars an overwhelming number of (uncredited) guest features, producers and co-writers, but, ultimately, it’s his own, most career-defining work to date. 

29/40 12. Troye Sivan – Bloom

                Bloom captures the A to Z’s of modern queer love with pinpoint precision

30/40 11. Ben Howard – Noonday Dream

                Howard’s music has always, above all, reflected the shifts and moods in nature, while he sings poetic lyrics in his signature low, warm murmur. On Noonday Dream, he expands on the Cornish landscape that impacted his earlier work and brings in sounds and instruments that spark the imagination for places further afield, in the most exquisite way

31/40 10. Shame – Songs of Praise

                Distinguishing themselves from the hordes of other white, indie guitar bands that emerged around summer 2017, south London natives Shame manage to make raw, bleeding anger on their debut album sound articulate.

32/40 9. Gaika – Basic Volume

                Gaika broke new ground on the UK music scene and asserted himself as one of the most provocative and multitalented young artists of this generation with his debut album, Basic Volume

33/40 8. Tamino – Amir

                Tamino’s music on his debut Amir draws on the old-world romance of his grandfather – a famous Arabic musician and actor ¬– but also embodies the genre-less quality of much modern pop. The musical heritage that is so essential to the 22-year-old’s sound comes to life in the dramatic, sweeping instrumentation on a song like “So It Goes”; haunting, graceful violins, bold drum beats and the shimmer of a tambourine transport the listener entirely.

34/40 7. Mac Miller – Swimming

                Mac Miller turned his anguish into one of the year’s most disarming records

35/40 6. Colter Wall – Song of the Plains

                Wall’s songwriting is as stark as it comes: his plain-speaking manner is delivered in a slow, melancholy drawl that paints him as some lonely cowboy – the last man of the West, as he describes in the most matter-of-fact terms how a bullet ripped in to “poor Wild Bill”. There’s no fuss in the instrumentation, either, mostly just gentle picking or brisk, deep thrums on Wall’s acoustic guitar, which are bolstered by icy laps of pedal steel and the occasional harmonica. It’s effective in the simplest of ways – and allows the listener’s imagination to do the rest

36/40 5. Black Panther soundtrack (various artists)

                Kendrick Lamar co-executive produced the Black Panther soundtrack, has writing credits on its 14 tracks, and appears in various skits and features. But his most essential job on this album is that of the curator, as he brings in a staggering array of talent – from Anderson .Paak, SZA and Future to South African gqom (EDM) artist Babes Wodumo and alt-rapper Yungen Blakrok.

Not all the tracks fit as neatly into the film’s biggest moments, but Lamar successfully navigates its most important themes – responsibility, black power, heroism, family dynamics, and loyalty– and weaves them into the music. It makes for a thrilling and deeply immersive journey. (RO)

37/40 4. Kacey Musgraves – Golden Hour

                Kacey Musgraves third album flips between wide-eyed country pop and disco-electronica. Aided by co-writers and producers Daniel Tashian and Ian Fitchuk – both Nashville stalwarts – Musgraves conjures up a feeling of lightness as she melds the traditional and futuristic.

At a time where mainstream artists seem forced to dwell on all the doom and gloom we hear on the news, Golden Hour is a reminder that sometimes – often, if you’re looking in the right places – life is beautiful. And you get the feeling that Musgraves could find the beauty in anything. (RO)

38/40 3. Janelle Monae – Dirty Computer

                Dirty Computer is Monáe’s gift to the LGBT+ community, non-binary people, black men and women… anyone who faces stigma and abuse just for embracing their true selves. It’s a message of love and hope to anyone who fears what is different, but who has capacity to learn and know better. And it’s seemingly a gift to herself, as well. (RO)

39/40 2. Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino

                Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino feels more like an interlude between AM and a seventh Arctic Monkeys album – a delve into the bizarre, where even the Steinway piano has its own character. On “The Ultracheese”, the descending piano chords symbolise a kind of final bow; the last soliloquy of the night before the curtain closes. Few bands today are as brave as this.

40/40 1. Christine & The Queens – Chris

                Letissier makes her vintage synths snap, crackle, pop, fizz, freeze, squelch, shimmer and soar. There’s even a shattered glass effect (on “Stranger”) to complete the Old Skool Electronica bingo card. Treble notes bounce from air-cushioned soles. Bass lines lasso your hips. Chiffon layers of Letissier’s Anglo-French vocals glide around your neck and shoulders and roll them back. It’s ridiculously danceable.

The quirky lyrical pleas for understanding of early hits like “Tilted” has been replaced by the empowered seduction of “Girlfriend”, on which lines “Don’t feel like a girlfriend/ But lover/ Damn, I’d be your lover” simmer over flickering flames of funk-guitar.

In the wonderful world of Christine and the Queens, linguistic borders are as porous as those between gender, era and genre. Vive la fluidité!

1/40 40. Thom Yorke – Suspiria

                Thom Yorke’s first ever soundtrack summons the darkness of horror, and the terror of blood and evil, over 25 tracks.

A handful of these are among Yorke’s best solo work. The Radiohead frontman’s debut piece written for the 007 film Spectre was a sparse piano-led ballad, and “Suspirium”, the first single to be released from this soundtrack, takes that same intimate approach to desolate depths

2/40 39. Interpol – Marauder

                Marauder is Interpol’s most experimental to date, blending everything from rough garage rock to Motown rhythms. The band appear reinvigorated, brimming with energy and self-assurance.

3/40 38. Brent Cobb – Providence Canyon

                Brent Cobb’s music is built around people and places. The country artist returns after the release of his acclaimed 2016 album Shine On Rainy Day with Providence Canyon; a slice of blue-collar country offering fresh tales of Southern life

4/40 37. Black Peaks – All That Divides

                The Brighton metal band’s sublime second album is their most ambitious to date. Enlisting Adrian Bushby (Foo Fighters, Muse) on production was a master-stroke – with his help they offer up vast sonic landscapes that recall the drama of Darion Malakian’s Scars on Broadway record, Dictator

5/40 36. Miya Folick – Premonitions

                One moment opining the joys of leaving a party to pluck your eyebrows, the next raging over the gaslighting of assault survivors, Miya Folick’s debut album continues her habit of cracking the shiny veneer of pop, and unsettling the exceptions put upon a feminine voice

6/40 35) Suede – The Blue Hour

                Though their themes remain in the gutter, Suede aspire to monuments, and The Blue Hour will stand as another sordid masterwork

7/40 34. Cat Power – Wanderer

                Six years after the release of her last LP Sun, Cat Power – whose struggles with alcoholism, addiction and mental health issues have been much publicised – demonstrates “both a newfound sense of calm, and strength” on her new album

8/40 33. Architects – Holy Hell

                Holy Hell offers up some of the best tracks of the band’s career, with a through-line that maintains Tom Searle's role as an integral part of Architects, particularly on “Doomsday”, while “Hereafter” feels like the song that launches the album’s momentum. Listening to vocalist Sam Carter scream: “I wasn’t braced for the fallout” is intensely cathartic – even non-metal fans will find it hard not to be moved by the band’s sincerity. (RO)

9/40 32. Robyn – Honey

                Even in discarding such basic pop necessities as melody, Robyn has managed to create a masterpiece. With her first album in seven years, the Swedish singer delivers nine songs that glow and pulse with bittersweet sensuality, sung in a voice that sifts over the synths like icing sugar

10/40 31. Florence & the Machine – High as Hope

                On Florence & The Machine’s latest album High As Hope, her voice is just as powerful when she holds back. She seems to attribute much of this calmness to her new-found sobriety – she quit alcohol a few years ago and looks back on her twenties with a mix of fondness and regret

11/40 30. Teyana Taylor – Keep that Same Energy

                She’s not restricted by genre constraints, and K.T.S.E. (Keep That Same Energy) is a pleasant surprise. Embellished with producer Kanye West’s keen ear for samples, it blends Eighties nostalgia with fresh rap and R&B. At the core of the project is Taylor’s love of pleasing herself, her relationship with her husband, and being a mother

12/40 29. The 1975 – A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships

                On their third and best album, A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships, The 1975 have created what so many post-Radiohead bands couldn’t: a coherent pop statement with enough hope, radical honesty and genre-spanning breadth to make sense across divided generations

13/40 28. Kamasi Washington – Heaven and Earth

                For a new generation, Kamasi Washington is largely responsible for the revitalised interest in jazz in modern music, most notably with his work on Kendrick Lamar’s jazz-heavy masterpiece, To Pimp a Butterfly. On Heaven and Earth, the Los Angeles saxophonist and band leader splits his second record in two halves: the urgent Earth side explores reality while Heaven deals in dreamy opulence

14/40 27. Novelist – Novelist Guy

                The 21-year-old south London MC Novelist’s debut album is a clear, concise look at the current social and political landscape of the UK, offering up astute observations on black masculinity and the music industry along the way.

15/40 26. Nils Frahm – All Melody

                The German composer’s 10th solo album is a stirring, complex work that draws on the concept of connection; a fluidity in the way the universe works

16/40 25. Camila Cabello – Camila

                Camila Cabello's debut solo album is the first time fans have been able to see her clearly

17/40 24. Mitski – Be The Cowboy

                On Mitski's brilliant fifth album she is desperate and lonely one minute, hardened and withdrawn the next. Her music, which exists in a space between fierce, guitar-led walls of noise and soft, delicate balladry, feels like an open wound – and Be The Cowboy is no different. (AP)

18/40 23. Years & Years – Palo Santo

                Frontman Olly Alexander is offering fans their own generational pop icon: a young man who has the courage to put all of that vibrant, dynamic character on full display

19/40 22. Courtney Barnett – Tell Me How You Really Feel

                On Tell Me How You Really Feel, Courtney Barnett turns her keen eye inwards, exploring anxiety and depression while coming to terms with her own emotional life. Written as her burgeoning stature and hectic touring schedule began to take their toll, these 10 songs are Barnett’s attempt to work through her vulnerability and sadness

20/40 21. Blood Orange – Negro Swan

                For Negro Swan, Blood Orange’s fourth album, the multi-instrumentalist has dreamed up a 16-song suite that weaves together impressionist psych-pop and interstellar funk, late-Seventies Marvin Gaye and early-Eighties Prince, with some tangled ballads and insomniac blues reminiscent of Elliott Smith and King Krule thrown into the pot

“Brother, we’ve seen it all and we’re tired,” Hynes sings on the A$AP Rocky-featuring “Chewing Gum”. In the company of friends, music and tradition, he’s made a kind of spiritual headquarters, somewhere the disheartened can take cover and, with an eye on tomorrow, regroup. (JM)

21/40 20. Cardi B – Invasion of Privacy

                When she sings off the hook, it’s just another moment where Cardi B runs to her own rhythm: because nothing about Invasion of Privacy is formulaic

22/40 19. Let’s Eat Grandma – I’m All Ears

                With producer SOPHIE on board (whose own album, also released this year, is well worth your time), they explore the anxieties and frustrations of being a teenage girl through clattering beats and Nokia samples. The result is exceptional

23/40 18. Ghetts – Ghetto Gospel: The New Testament

                Ghetts re-evaluates much of what he said on Ghetto Gospel, when he was frustrated and angry with the world. Now he looks more to the future, whether on “Next of Kin”, where he speaks from the perspective of a mother carrying her child’s coffin, or “Black Rose”, which addresses fears for his daughter in a society that places double standards on black women. It’s a reminder that grime is so much more than violence and threats. (RO)

24/40 17. Cypress Hill – Elephants on Acid

                Elephants on Acid is a 21-track monster, loaded with twists and turns that take you as far as Egypt, where Muggs recorded much of “Band of Gypsies” – teaming up with artists on oud, sitar, keyboard and guitar, as well as some of its street musicians. Its lead hook harks back to the glitchy shrieks of “How I Could Just Kill a Man” from their eponymous 1991 debut.

25/40 16. John Grant – Love is Magic

                His brilliant fourth album Love Is Magic takes listeners on a similar thrill ride, dominated by swirling loops of grand, romantic melody, sly twists of sardonic wit and heart-stopping drops of sheer honesty

26/40 15. Pusha T – Daytona

                His third record, produced entirely by Kanye West, could easily have been an EP, coming in at just seven songs and 21 minutes. While many fans were disappointed by the erratic and self-indulgent nature of some of West’s other releases, including his own album ye, the beats on Daytona are sample-heavy and superb; the instrumentation is sparse but all the more impactful for it

27/40 14. Nao – Saturn

                Since her debut single – the AK Paul-featuring “So Good” – was released in 2014, London-based singer-songwriter NAO has hovered around a near-perfect brand of sultry, neo-soul-inflected R&B. Four years later, and she seems to have mastered it

28/40 13. Travis Scott – Astroworld

                The third solo album from the US artist stars an overwhelming number of (uncredited) guest features, producers and co-writers, but, ultimately, it’s his own, most career-defining work to date. 

29/40 12. Troye Sivan – Bloom

                Bloom captures the A to Z’s of modern queer love with pinpoint precision

30/40 11. Ben Howard – Noonday Dream

                Howard’s music has always, above all, reflected the shifts and moods in nature, while he sings poetic lyrics in his signature low, warm murmur. On Noonday Dream, he expands on the Cornish landscape that impacted his earlier work and brings in sounds and instruments that spark the imagination for places further afield, in the most exquisite way

31/40 10. Shame – Songs of Praise

                Distinguishing themselves from the hordes of other white, indie guitar bands that emerged around summer 2017, south London natives Shame manage to make raw, bleeding anger on their debut album sound articulate.

32/40 9. Gaika – Basic Volume

                Gaika broke new ground on the UK music scene and asserted himself as one of the most provocative and multitalented young artists of this generation with his debut album, Basic Volume

33/40 8. Tamino – Amir

                Tamino’s music on his debut Amir draws on the old-world romance of his grandfather – a famous Arabic musician and actor ¬– but also embodies the genre-less quality of much modern pop. The musical heritage that is so essential to the 22-year-old’s sound comes to life in the dramatic, sweeping instrumentation on a song like “So It Goes”; haunting, graceful violins, bold drum beats and the shimmer of a tambourine transport the listener entirely.

34/40 7. Mac Miller – Swimming

                Mac Miller turned his anguish into one of the year’s most disarming records

35/40 6. Colter Wall – Song of the Plains

                Wall’s songwriting is as stark as it comes: his plain-speaking manner is delivered in a slow, melancholy drawl that paints him as some lonely cowboy – the last man of the West, as he describes in the most matter-of-fact terms how a bullet ripped in to “poor Wild Bill”. There’s no fuss in the instrumentation, either, mostly just gentle picking or brisk, deep thrums on Wall’s acoustic guitar, which are bolstered by icy laps of pedal steel and the occasional harmonica. It’s effective in the simplest of ways – and allows the listener’s imagination to do the rest

36/40 5. Black Panther soundtrack (various artists)

                Kendrick Lamar co-executive produced the Black Panther soundtrack, has writing credits on its 14 tracks, and appears in various skits and features. But his most essential job on this album is that of the curator, as he brings in a staggering array of talent – from Anderson .Paak, SZA and Future to South African gqom (EDM) artist Babes Wodumo and alt-rapper Yungen Blakrok.

Not all the tracks fit as neatly into the film’s biggest moments, but Lamar successfully navigates its most important themes – responsibility, black power, heroism, family dynamics, and loyalty– and weaves them into the music. It makes for a thrilling and deeply immersive journey. (RO)

37/40 4. Kacey Musgraves – Golden Hour

                Kacey Musgraves third album flips between wide-eyed country pop and disco-electronica. Aided by co-writers and producers Daniel Tashian and Ian Fitchuk – both Nashville stalwarts – Musgraves conjures up a feeling of lightness as she melds the traditional and futuristic.

At a time where mainstream artists seem forced to dwell on all the doom and gloom we hear on the news, Golden Hour is a reminder that sometimes – often, if you’re looking in the right places – life is beautiful. And you get the feeling that Musgraves could find the beauty in anything. (RO)

38/40 3. Janelle Monae – Dirty Computer

                Dirty Computer is Monáe’s gift to the LGBT+ community, non-binary people, black men and women… anyone who faces stigma and abuse just for embracing their true selves. It’s a message of love and hope to anyone who fears what is different, but who has capacity to learn and know better. And it’s seemingly a gift to herself, as well. (RO)

39/40 2. Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino

                Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino feels more like an interlude between AM and a seventh Arctic Monkeys album – a delve into the bizarre, where even the Steinway piano has its own character. On “The Ultracheese”, the descending piano chords symbolise a kind of final bow; the last soliloquy of the night before the curtain closes. Few bands today are as brave as this.

40/40 1. Christine & The Queens – Chris

                Letissier makes her vintage synths snap, crackle, pop, fizz, freeze, squelch, shimmer and soar. There’s even a shattered glass effect (on “Stranger”) to complete the Old Skool Electronica bingo card. Treble notes bounce from air-cushioned soles. Bass lines lasso your hips. Chiffon layers of Letissier’s Anglo-French vocals glide around your neck and shoulders and roll them back. It’s ridiculously danceable.

The quirky lyrical pleas for understanding of early hits like “Tilted” has been replaced by the empowered seduction of “Girlfriend”, on which lines “Don’t feel like a girlfriend/ But lover/ Damn, I’d be your lover” simmer over flickering flames of funk-guitar.

In the wonderful world of Christine and the Queens, linguistic borders are as porous as those between gender, era and genre. Vive la fluidité!

He later wrote on Twitter: “To everyone telling me how courageous I am for appearing in the doc, it didn’t feel risky at all.

“I believe these women and don’t give a f*** about protecting a serial child rapist. Easy decision.”

        Support free-thinking journalism and subscribe to Independent Minds

Lady Gaga and the band Phoenix have both apologised for working with Kelly in the past.

Despite facing a number of sexual misconduct allegations over the past two decades, Kelly has never been convicted. Last year, he denied accusations of holding young women in an abusive cult.


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