Two years ago, their first joint tour was aborted because of R. Kelly’s legal woes. Two weeks ago, Jay-Z and R. Kelly’s second cross-country jaunt devolved into chaos. How did something so beautiful get so ugly?
Aug. 19: The rap-soul duo announces the Best of Both Worlds Tour and Unfinished Business CD (it will debut at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart Nov. 2). Jay-Z fans ask, Why, Jigga? Why?
Sept. 30: R. Kelly arrives at Chicago arena two and a half hours after showtime on tour’s second night. He was reportedly rearranging the set list.
Oct. 1: Cincinnati gig canceled. Tour organizers cite ”logistical and production concerns from last night’s show in Chicago.”
Oct. 23: R. Kelly leaves the stage midway through St. Louis date after argument about lighting. Spends rest of evening working the drive-through at a nearby McDonald’s. He believes he can fry?
Oct. 24, Oct. 26: Gigs in Milwaukee and Hartford canceled due to what a tour spokesman calls ”technical problems.”
Oct. 29: R. Kelly leaves stage of NYC’s Madison Square Garden after announcing that two men in the audience are waving guns at him. When no guns are found, he returns, but says he was attacked with pepper spray en route.
Oct. 30: R. Kelly blames a member of Jay-Z’s entourage for the spraying, and snipes, ”The fans deserve better than this. I’d like the show to go on. It’s really disappointing that Jay-Z and the promoter don’t.”
Nov. 1, early afternoon: In a statement, Jay-Z’s label blames R. Kelly for the tour’s demise: ”Jay will not allow his fans and touring personnel to be subjected to an unsafe environment created by his coheadliner.”
Nov. 1, late afternoon: Lawyers for R. Kelly slap Jay-Z and his production company with a $75 million lawsuit, claiming, among other things, that Jay-Z intentionally sabotaged the tour out of ”spite and jealousy.” Jay-Z’s label, Def Jam, has no comment on the suit.
2006: The rap-soul duo pair up for a third tour…