Just minutes after his solo Bonnaroo set, R. Kelly made a surprise appearance during the festival’s Rock n’ Soul Dance Party Superjam — and while there, he took the lead on a cover of Sam Cooke‘s civil rights anthem “A Change Is Gonna Come.” (Perhaps he saw Beyonce cover this very song at Chime for Change and felt inspired — who knows?)
The Rock n’ Soul Dance Party was led by Jim James and featured John Oates (yes, of Hall & Oates). Other special, previously unannounced guests included Bilal, Alabama Shakes vocalist Brittany Howard and Billy Idol, who covered T. Rex‘s “Bang a Gong (Get It On).” Together, the ensemble made time for Kelly and Idols’ covers, but then mainly focused its energies on performing some of Sly & The Family Stone‘s biggest hits.
Watch R. Kelly cover “A Change Is Gonna Come” up top. After the jump, check out the Superjam editions of Sly & The Family Stone’s “Dance to the Music” and “Hot Fun in the Summertime.”
Bonnaroo Superjam, “Dance to the Music” (Sly & The Family Stone cover)
Bonnaroo Superjam, “Hot Fun in the Summertime” (Sly & The Family Stone cover)
[R. Kelly photo via Instagram]