Fans of R. Kelly's music are torn on how to handle the disgraced singer's catalog of hits, now that he's doing 30 years for sex crimes -- but maybe Kirk Franklin can provide some guidance.
We put the issue to the gospel music pioneer in NYC. Seeing as how he recorded with Kelly back in 1998, and he knows a thing or two about being persecuted in the spotlight ... he's a perfect person to weigh in.
The gospel Grammy magnet is currently promoting his social justice reform-themed album, "Kingdom Book One" w/ Maverick City Music, and didn't deny cancel culture is a slippery slope because we all make mistakes.
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Still, he says it can be "difficult to separate an artist from the art," and, therefore, performers have a responsibility to uphold the trust of their fans.
As we reported, Kelly is currently off suicide watch in prison, and if he's at all interested in forgiveness from fans ... it's gonna take a lot of work, according to Kirk.
He loosely quoted the Bible's book of Luke 12:48 when he told us, "To whom much is given, much is required."