Despite Past Child-Porn Charges, R. Kelly Serves As Grand Marshall Of A Children’s Parade

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(Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)

(Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)

A man who admits he cannot read and narrowly escaped child-porn charges seems to be an unlikely person to have as the honorary grand marshal of a children’s back-to-school parade. But that was exactly what happened when Chicago’s Bud Billiken parade invited R&B singer [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]R. Kelly[/lastfm] to be their grand marshall on Saturday.

Crowds cheered for R. Kelly through the entire parade route. Kelly smiled and waved as his sexy music was blasted from a sound system.

Most people didn’t seem to mind Kelly’s checkered past, including his marriage to singer Aaliyah when he was 27 and she was just 15, not to mention the charges he beat in 2008 that Kelly filmed himself having sex and urinating on a 14-year-old.

“You’re still my baby, no matter what you did!” yelled one fan, Leslie Kaizer, 36.

Kelly, 44, acknowledged his literacy problem in 2009. Fans at the parade didn’t seem to mind the apparent conflict in messages.

“He used his God-given talent,” said Chris Bertram, 36. “That doesn’t mean he can’t tell the kids to go to school and do something he didn’t do.”

Though there was a small minority of people that didn’t agree with the choice of honorary grand marshall. “It doesn’t seem right,” said Gladys Sumerall, 55. “I don’t think I’d have picked him.”

Reporting by Kim Janssen, Chicago Sun-Times

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