Hours before his appearance at the Dirty South Lounge, Kelly posted a video on Instagram asking the media to “take it easy” on him because “this is how I got to get paid now, for right now.”
Kelly, 52, was charged in February with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse that accused him of assaulting four women during a roughly 10-year period starting in the late 1990s. Three of the accusers were underage at the time. He has pleaded not guilty and denied any wrongdoing.
Since his arrest, the cash-strapped singer has struggled to get work in the U.S., according to Kelly's lawyer Steve Greenberg. In a motion last month, Greenberg requested permission for Kelly to perform in Dubai and meet with members of the sheikhdom's royal family.
Kelly has been scrambling to pay child support, legal fees and everyday expenses because of the cancellation of Illinois concerts and a record contract, as well as the removal of his songs from streaming services, he wrote.
Kelly's lawyers later put the motion on hold. Dubai's government denied that Kelly had any concerts planned there and the claims that he would meet with members of the royal family.
» RELATED: R. Kelly asks media to 'take it easy' on him ahead of his weekend club appearance
The Associated Press contributed to this report.