R+B star R Kelly put his legal troubles behind him on Friday night (09SEP05) to deliver a tearful message to BET telethon viewers about the hurricane devastation in south east America and dedicate his uplifting tune LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE to the victims.

Kelly, who is facing trial in child pornography charges, was unable to join peers in the studio at the SAVE OURSELVES TV benefit because he couldn't obtain official permission to leave his native Illinois in time, but his studio-based performance was still among the night's highlights.

His performance was an emotional one and he finished it by sobbing and stating, "Let your light shine New Orleans and the whole world let your light shine on New Orleans... I love y'all. Peace."

The singer/songwriter joined a host of R+B and hip-hop stars who appeared on the commercial-free four-hour telethon, hosted by Queen Latifah and comic Steve Harvey.

Other highlights included Toni Braxton, David Banner, Patti Labelle, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Brian McKnight, Alicia Keys and The Game.

Meanwhile, stars including Usher, Ludacris, SEAN 'DIDDY' COMBS and Jay-Z joined the hosts to deliver messages of hope and encourage viewers to give as much as they could afford, and former President Bill Clinton called in to urge all Americans to be generous to help out those suffering in south east America.