Spotify cuts R. Kelly music from playlists, citing new conduct policy

Spotify bans R. Kelly from all playlists and will no longer promote his music, days after the Time’s Up movement boycotted the controversial singer’s music following years of sex abuse allegations

  • Beginning Thursday Spotify will no longer feature R. Kelly’s songs on top playlists such as Discover Weekly, RapCaviar and other genre-based selections
  • In a statement the company said: ‘His music will still be available on the service, but Spotify will not actively promote it’
  • It cited the streaming service’s new hate content and hateful conduct policy 
  • The R&B singer has faced allegations of sexual abuse for the last few decades

Spotify is removing R. Kelly from its playlists beginning Thursday, citing the streaming service’s new hate content and hateful conduct policy.  

Over the past several years the R&B singer has been accused by multiple women of sexual violence, coercion and running a ‘sex cult’, though he has never been convicted. 

This week Spotify revealed that it would be taking Kelly’s songs off of top playlists such as Discover Weekly, RapCaviar and other genre-based selections.

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Streaming service Spotify will no longer promote R&B singer R. Kelly’s music on its playlists 

In a statement to Billboard the company said: ‘His music will still be available on the service, but Spotify will not actively promote it. 

‘We don’t censor content because of an artist’s or creator’s behavior, but we want our editorial decisions – what we choose to program – to reflect our values. 

‘When an artist or creator does something that is especially harmful or hateful, it may affect the ways we work with or support that artist or creator.’

The new policy defines hateful conduct as ‘something that is especially harmful or hateful,’ such as violence against children and sexual violence.  

Spotify says it doesn’t censor content because of an artist’s behavior, but the service wants programs to ‘reflect’ its values, and that when an artist does something harmful or hateful, it may affect the ways it works with the artist.

Kelly has faced numerous allegations of sexual abuse from women in the last few decades including relationships with teenagers too young to give their consent

The 51-year-old artist has denied all of the accusations and has never been convicted

For decades the Ignition singer, whose full name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, has faced numerous accusations of sexual abuse including relationships with teenagers too young to give their consent. 

TIMELINE OF ALLEGATIONS AGAINST R.KELLY 

1994 – R Kelly, then 27, married Aaliyah, who was 15 at the time

1996 – The singer is sued by Tiffany Hawkins for ‘personal injuries and emotional distress’. She claimed she began having sex with Kelly when she was just 15. The case was settled in 1998.

2001 – Kelly was sued by a former intern, Tracy Sampson, who accused him of inducing her into ‘an indecent sexual relationship’ when she was 17. The case was settled out of court.

2002 – The R&B artist is sued by two more women. Patrice Jones claimed he got her pregnant when she was 16 and Montina Woods accused him of filming them having sex without her consent. Both cases were settled out of court. 

In the same year, a video emerged that allegedly showed Kelly having sex with a 14-year-old girl.

Kelly was charged with making child pornography, but he was later found not guilty on all counts.

2017 – Kelly is accused of holding six women against their will at his properties in Chicago and Atlanta.

One of the women, Joycelyn Savage, has denied she was being held against her will.

Jerhonda Pace and Kitti Jones also come forward, alleging they were abused by Kelly. The singer denies the allegations.

On Monday the Time’s Up organization, which is devoted to helping women in the aftermath of sexual abuse, issued a statement on Monday urging further investigation into Kelly’s behavior. 

The organization was specifically seeking action from Kelly’s label RCA Records, Ticketmaster, and Spotify and Apple Music, which stream Kelly’s catalog. 

At the end of April the group launched the #MuteRKelly movement, aimed at highlighting Kelly’s alleged abuses on social media. 

One of the first accounts of Kelly’s inappropriate conduct was in 1994, when he wed 15-year-old Aaliyah, previously his protege.

The marriage was annulled and the two refused to confirm that it even happened.

He was later accused of child pornography after a widely circulated videotape appeared to show him having sex with, and urinating on, a teenage girl. 

He was ultimately acquitted of all charges in 2008 and continued to rack up hits and sell out stadiums around the country.    

In recent years, as more women have come forward to allege misconduct, protests against Kelly have increased.

A woman told Rolling Stone last year that she was in a long-term relationship with the singer that was sexually and physically abusive. 

Parents claimed their daughter was being held by Kelly as part of a sex cult but their daughter, who was of age, denied their claims. 

Recently a woman in Dallas filed a lawsuit against the singer claiming he gave her a sexually transmitted disease, and she claimed he was grooming her to be a part of a sex cult.

Kelly has denied all allegations against him. 

Kelly’s music will still be available on Spotify but the service will no longer promote his songs

The singer whose hits include ‘Ignition,’ ‘I Believe I Can Fly,’ ‘Step in the Name of Love,’ ‘Same Girl’ and ‘Bump N’ Grind,’ is one of pop music’s best-selling artists. 

While he’s written classic love songs and even gospel music, he is defined by sexually explicit songs such as ‘Feelin’ on Yo Booty,’ ‘Your Body’s Calling Me,’ ‘Sex Me’ and others.  

Kelly’s music will still be available on Spotify but the service will no longer actively promote his songs.

‘When we look at promotion, we look at issues around hateful conduct, where you have an artist or another creator who has done something off-platform that is so particularly out of line with our values, egregious, in a way that it becomes something that we don’t want to associate ourselves with,’ Jonathan Prince, Spotify’s vp/head of content and marketplace policy, told Billboard.

‘We’ve decided that in some circumstances, we may choose to not work with that artist or their content in the same way – to not program it, to not playlist it, to not do artist marketing campaigns with that artist.’ 

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