(The Root) — Singer R. Kelly was on his way to New York this morning to promote his new memoir, Soulacoaster: The Diary of Me, when the R&B artist "was taken ill" and had to return to Chicago for medical treatment, according to a press release.
He is suffering from complications from surgery he had last year to treat an abscess on his vocal cords, according to the statement.
As a result, Kelly had to cancel appearances on The Jimmy Fallon Show and NBC's Today, as well as the book party that was planned for this evening. Alicia Keys, Wyclef Jean and Jordin Sparks were among those expected to attend.
Look for The Root's take on Soulacoaster early tomorrow morning. In this excerpt from the "Yo Pac! Yo Biggie!" chapter, published by Rolling Stone, Kelly describes meeting rap superstar Tupac:
It was 1996; I had just left the lobby of the Hotel Nikko. (We called it the Hotel Negro because so many rappers and music business folk liked staying there.) I was standing out front, waiting for my ride to arrive, when I looked up and saw Tupac Shakur driving by in a bad-ass Bentley. He was alone, and I though to myself: "Man, this nigga got some balls to be rolling by himself like that."
"Yo Pac!" I yelled at the top of my voice.
He made a U-turn and jumped out of the car.
"What up, baby?" he asked.
"Just wanted to holla at you," I said. "Just had to tell you that I love everything you do."
"Hey, man," said Pac, "coming from you that's a helluva compliment."
"Lots of cats say rap and R&B live in different parts of the planet, but I don't see it that way, Pac. I see us all coming together. You feel me?"
"Been feeling the same way. It's all the same thing. Beats, words, stories."
"Man, we need to do an album."
"Would love it."
"I'm talkin' about a whole album. A whole concept. A big game-changing record."
"You got it, Kells. Tell me what studio and when to be there."
"Gonna send you some tracks," I said.
"Don't need no tracks. Just need to know you wanna work with me. That's enough. We'll just let it do what it do."
"God is good."
"All the time," said Pac.
We hugged and Pac went on his way.