Listen to R. Kelly’s Tribute to the Kids of Newtown, Connecticut

R. KellyThere are many faces of R. Kelly.

There’s Club Kelz ["Fiesta (Remix)," "Ignition (Remix)"], Chicago Steppin’ Kelz (“Step in the Name of Love,” “Happy People”), Trapped Kelz (“Trapped”), Infidelity Kelz (“Down Low (Nobody Has to Know),” “When a Woman’s Fed Up”), Nasty Kelz (“Feelin’ on Yo Booty,” “Bump n’ Grind”), and, of course, Stupid Nasty But Still Sweet? Kelz (“The Zoo”). Perhaps his greatest iteration, however, which is also the starkest contrast to his other personas, is UPLIFTING KELZ.

The other R. Kelly personae are what make him versatile. Uplifting Kelz is what makes him a legend.

Be it 1996′s “I Believe I Can Fly,” 2002′s post-9/11 “The World’s Greatest,” or 2004′s “U Saved Me,” the man knows how to make you feel things, believe in something, get through whatever ails you, and transport to a place where there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Today, he has done this again.

Introducing: “I Know You Are Hurting,” a tribute to the kids of the Newtown, Connecticut tragedy.

Unlike his past Uplifting Kelz outings, in which his voice is the star of the show (with the help of a choir), this time he gives the choir (a mix of children and adults) top billing while he blends into the background in a very Kirk Franklin–esque way, simply ad-libbing wherever he sees fit.

Kelly wrote, arranged, and produced this beautiful song. The lyrics:

Kids

We need your love to shower down
In our hearts, hear us now
We need some answers

Adults

I know you’re hurting, I hear you crying
But come tomorrow, there’s a place you can go
Find the blue sky, hear the choir sing
Feel the power of a miracle
Healing both you and me

Robert

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

Kids

We need the word from an angel
Show us a sign, let us know
Give us hope, depending on you
To give us strength, to carry on
Help us up, and take us home now

Adults

I know you’re hurting, I hear you crying
But come tomorrow, there’s a place you can go
Find the blue sky, hear the choir sing
Feel the power of a miracle
Healing both you and me

I know you’re hurting, I hear you crying
But come tomorrow, there’s a place you can go
Find the blue sky, hear the choir sing
Feel the power of miracle
Healing both you and me

I know you’re hurting, I hear you crying
But come tomorrow, there’s a place you can go
Find the blue sky, hear the choir sing
Feel the power of miracle
Healing both, know you’re worthy.

The song is available on iTunes, with all of the proceeds going toward supporting the families affected at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Click on the link above and buy it. Right now.

UPDATE: Thanks to commenter Chris Lin for pointing out that R. Kelly also wrote and performed “Rise Up” in 2007, in the wake of the Virginia Tech massacre, with the proceeds of the song going to the Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund.

Filed Under: Music, R. Kelly, Tributes

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Rembert Browne is a staff writer for Grantland.

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