Music legend R. Kelly‘s former flame isn’t going up in smoke over a $22,000 nightclub gig. Drea Kelly has weighed-in on Kells coming back into the spotlight by appearing at an Illinois venue for a weekend payday.

According to reports, Drea believes Robert made the quick cash in an effort to support his family.

We broke the story … R. Kelly showed up to a club in Springfield, Illinois over the weekend, where he sang a bit of “Bump N’ Grind,” hung out for less than an hour … and walked away with $22,000. He asked the media to go easy on him, as this was just a means to an end. We’re told Drea sees it this way … if R. Kelly’s working to fulfill his financial obligations, “no one can be mad at him for that.” Besides, Drea’s rep tells us the man certainly has responsibilities that need tending to with dough … for the sake of his kids. (TMZ)

A few days ago, Kelly announced his nightclub gig and asked the media to take it easy on him.

Last month, Kells hopped on Instagram with a birthday shout-out to his daughter.

Recently, Kells’ legal team couldn’t convince a judge to lower his child support payments.

Kelly’s publicist, Darryll Johnson, said Kelly has no assets to sell, not even his home at Trump Tower, because he rents the condo, and paid rent in advance several years ago. Johnson said he and Kelly’s attorneys are representing him for free. Wednesday’s hearing on the child support payments was sealed to the public, but Kelly’s attorneys confirmed afterward that there would be no change in those payments, and the next hearing has been scheduled for May 8. (Chicago CBS Local)

Despite the outcome, Kelly is reportedly sticking to his music grind and putting new tunes together.

Johnson said Kelly is still recording music, even though he was dropped by his record label in January. “He’s recording every day. He has a studio in his home, so he’s always recording,” Johnson said. “All he does is sing; sing and record all day, and when he’s not doing that, he’s shooting basketball.” (Chicago CBS Local)