Should we still listen to the music of R Kelly, Gary Glitter, Michael Jackson? – Blaise Tapp

There was a time, in an age long before drive-thru dry cleaners and stuffed crust pizzas, that I was something of a performer. If there was a karaoke on, I would be there, fuelled by cheap beer and pork scratchings.

Friday, 8th March 2019, 11:15 am
Updated Friday, 8th March 2019, 12:20 pm
Pop star Gary Glitter, who was jailed for 16 years for a string of historic sex attacks on three schoolgirls

Old favourites would be belted out and I would do my best not to massacre the peerless works of Elvis.

There was one tune above any other that would always be at the heart of my repertoire, The Leader of the Gang by Gary Glitter, a tune guaranteed to have people on their feet and stamping their feet to the famous beat.

The music stopped abruptly for Glitter when he was first arrested for possession of horrific images and ever since he has rightly become one of the most reviled figures in the land and is currently serving a 16 year jail term for sexually abusing young girls.

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I have not heard one of his countless hits for well over 20 years. 

In the era of #MeToo, when light is finally being shone on heinous crimes of yesteryear, we now often hear the question whether the art can be separated from the artist, due to a fact that a number of high profile performers have found themselves in the dock.

It is fair to say popular opinion seems to be firmly of the belief that you can’t separate the two and that to appreciate the work is to appreciate the performer, even if they are accused of being a dangerous sexual predator.

RnB superstar R Kelly, who is facing multiple sexual assault charges, has been dropped by his record label and muted by music fans.

Now BBC Radio 2 has responded to claims Michael Jackson has been dropped from its playlist saying his music doesn't actually feature on it anyway. 

Throughout history there have been a number of well known public figures who have had huge question marks over their character, yet people don’t always shun their work.

It seems to be the trend currently that famous sexual offenders are systematically removed from public view but will it ever be acceptable to listen to or even sing their songs again? The choice really is that of the individual.