K. Michelle has established herself as one of the most soulful voices in R&B, but many may not know that R. Kelly had a strong hand in her early music career. On her second studio album from 2014, Anybody Wanna Buy a Heart?, K. Michelle sings a song on which she directly speaks about her mentor.
In the lyrics of "Build a Man," K. Michelle sings, "He adored me, loved to hear me sing, but control me." Recently R. Kelly has come under fire after allegations have surfaced that he is holding several women against their will in his homes in Atlanta and Chicago. It is also alleged that he is abusive and controls every aspect of these ladies lives', even cutting them off from families and friends.
In a recent interview with REVOLT, K. Michelle speaks on her past relationship with Kelly and gives her thoughts on abuse victims. "I respect everything he's done for me and taught me," she said. "I wouldn't be the artist I am today, I wouldn't know how to record, I wouldn't know the importance of the music. So my loyalty always has a point. But for me, you'll never hear me tell another woman what she went through."
K. Michelle goes on to say she will not specifically discuss the allegations that have been lodged against Kelly, but she did say that children's safety should be prioritized.
"As women, how about we make sure that we pay attention to somebody's child, somebody's daughter, and that we stop calling other woman liars? Because you know what that does? I'm still living that down."
Years ago when K. Michelle appeared on Love & Hip-Hop: Atlanta, she spoke out about being violently beaten by her former record exec boyfriend, Mickey "Memphitz" Wright. It was a tough time for the singer, since she suffered backlash for making the claims against him.
''I just remember watching the comments on blogs about me. They were like 'she's lying' and 'this is not true' and I was sitting there like, 'Oh my god, I'm fighting for you,'" K. Michelle said. "I'm fighting to tell the story, and they beat me up about that shit. So, I refuse to beat up anybody. I'm never gon' tell you what you went through at the hands of your abuser. I will never say that."
K. Michelle goes on to say that women need to stop bashing each other and calling each other liars when stories of abuse emerge. "You don't know how you calling them a liar or you saying some shit to them, you don't know what that will do to them forever," she said.
K. Michelle's new album, Kimberly: The People I Used To Know, will be available Friday, December 8.