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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 2 April, 2003, 10:29 GMT 11:29 UK
R Kelly records song for US troops
R Kelly
R Kelly has pleaded innocent to child porn charges
R&B singer R Kelly is releasing a single dedicated to troops fighting in Iraq as he awaits trial on child pornography charges.

He has recorded A Soldier's Heart as "a tribute to the courageous soldiers and military men and women who are risking their lives to preserve freedom".

Kelly, 36, is out on bail as he awaits trial on 21 counts of child pornography in Cook County, Illinois, relating to him allegedly filming himself having sex with an underage girl.

He faces 12 more counts on similar charges after being arrested in Florida in January.

But the charges have not dampened fans' enthusiasm for his music, with his recent album, Chocolate Factory, topping the US charts.

The old statement music can calm the savage beast is true in so many ways
R Kelly

A Soldier's Heart has been picked up by more than 25 radio stations for inclusion on playlists since it was sent out last week.

"This song is my way of saying thank you to everyone protecting us, and allowing us to sleep comfortable at night and send our children off to school in the morning," Kelly said.

Calming

"Some of these young men and women are just 18-20 years old themselves, some have never left their hometown prior to basic or advanced training.

"The fact that their journey is far, frightening, and unfamiliar to them does not stop them," he added.

The single will be released in the US on 23 April with all profits being donated to support the families of soldiers through Kelly's I Believe I Can Fly charity.

Kelly also hopes to visit the troops as part of a morale-boosting event.

He said: "The old statement music can calm the savage beast is true in so many ways," he said.

"It can also sooth pain, bring calm, and uplift and that's what I'm trying to do through my music this time."

Dixie Chicks
The Dixie Chicks have suffered negative publicity following remarks made by singer Natalie Maines

Meanwhile, a South Carolina radio station is staging an anti-Dixie Chicks concert in response to one of the band's condemnation of President George Bush's stance on Iraq.

Presenter Mike Gallagher is organising a rally for troops in Spartanville on the same day as the group play in neighbouring Greenville, and offering VIP seating to anyone holding a Dixie Chicks ticket.

Mr Gallagher said that while the event was not a witchhunt, comments made by singer Natalie Maines during a concert in London had angered Americans.

Haines has since apologised for her remarks, saying she fully supported troops but had hoped for a peaceful resolution to avoid deaths of US personnel.


SEE ALSO:
R Kelly tops US chart
27 Feb 03  |  Entertainment
Further trouble for R Kelly
20 Feb 03  |  Entertainment
R Kelly defies legal worries
14 Feb 03  |  Entertainment
R Kelly: Success and scandal
06 Jun 02  |  Entertainment
Dixie Chicks anger US fans
14 Mar 03  |  Entertainment


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