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Video: R. Kelly joins Phoenix during Coachella

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Alas, no, he wasn't a hologram.

In a brief preview of what may be coming to this year's Pitchfork Music Festival, infamous Chicago R&B singer R. Kelly made a surprise cameo last weekend at the Coachella concert festival outside of Los Angeles.

Kelly joined the French pop band Phoenix toward the end of their headlining set before the festival crowd on Saturday. Together, Kelly and Phoenix mashed up his "Ignition" with their "1901."

Here's video of the performance ...

The looks on the faces of the Phoenix players are pretty priceless. Not exactly thrilled to have this obvious PR stunt foisted upon them, I'm guessing, but rolling with it.

The rumor throughout the day at Coachella was that Daft Punk would be the surprise guest. Other R&B stars making cameos that day included John Legend popping into DJ Benny Benassi's set, and Beyonce's baby sister Solange performing with indie-rock band the xx.

So is indie-rock the latest credibility-granting institution for stars seeking crossovers and image makeovers?

"It feels good to know that your music can touch all types of people from all over the world," Kelly says in some backstage footage near the end of the above video. "It doesn't matter who you are, good music is good music."

Kelly is scheduled to headline the Pitchfork fest in July.


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Thomas Conner

Thomas Conner covers pop music for the Chicago Sun-Times. Contact him via e-mail.

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