Spotify boots R. Kelly’s Music from its playlists as part of its new “Hate Content & Hateful Conduct Policy”
If you’re one of those people who still had R. Kelly’s music floating around on your favorite Spotify playlist, starting today it will be gone. Billboard is reporting Spotify users will no longer be able to find R. Kelly’s music on any of the streaming service’s editorial or algorithmic playlists.
“We are removing R. Kelly’s music from all Spotify owned and operated playlists and algorithmic recommendations such as Discover Weekly,” Spotify said in a statement. “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,” they added. “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 Chicago singer’s music will be removed from flagship playlists like RapCaviar, Discover Weekly, or New Music Friday, for example, as well as its other genre or mood-based playlists. The removal comes as the #MuteRKelly movement has begun to gain more steam.
Kelly is the only artist that Spotify has specifically announced would fall under this new public policy, though others will likely be affected. Kelly has been accused by multiple women of sexual violence, coercion and running a “sex cult.”
He has been the subject of allegations of preying on young women for nearly 25 years. He famously and secretly wed late R&B sensation Aaliyah in 1994 when she was just 15-years-old, including falsifying her age on the marriage license.
In 2008, he was acquitted of sexual assault in the case of a now-infamous sex tape showing Kelly engaging in sex acts with an underage girl. Kelly has defended himself, saying those accusing him are an “attempt to distort my character and to destroy my legacy,” and comparing himself to Emmitt Till.
The music industry has come under heavy scrutiny for its continued support of Kelly over the years. RCA Records has thus far not dropped Kelly from his recording contract and he continues to tour around the country.