Spotify won’t promote any songs by R. Kelly moving forward amid a wave of allegations against the singer.
The streaming service is taking Kelly’s music off of every featured playlist that’s created and owned by Spotify after determining singer is in violation of the company’s hate content and hateful conduct guidelines.
Kelly’s music will remain on the site for people who want to seek it out, but will not be found on any existing or future playlists like New Music Friday or RapCaviar.
“We are removing R. Kelly’s music from all Spotify owned and operated playlists and algorithmic recommendations such as Discover Weekly,” a rep for 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.”
Kelly, 51, is accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women, including a former girlfriend, Kitti Jones, who claims the singer abused her and introduced her to a woman who he was grooming as his “pet” since she was 14 years old.
The parents of another Kelly girlfriend, Joycelyn Savage, have claimed for months that they fear their daughter is “brainwashed” by the singer and is staying with him against her will as part of a “cult,” which Joycelyn has denied.
Another accuser, Lizette Martinez, came forward to BuzzFeed last week to claim she had sex with Kelly when she was just 17, shortly after they met in Miami during the mid-1990s. The age of consent in Florida is 18. Martinez also accused Kelly being physically abusive toward her.
A different woman claimed in that same report that she believes her 27-year-old daughter has also been “brainwashed” by Kelly.
Kelly’s team issued a denial after those allegations surfaced last week.
“R. Kelly has close friendships with a number of women who are strong, independent, happy, well cared for and free to come and go as they please,” Kelly’s team said in a statement to The New York Times. “We deny the many dark descriptions put forth by instigators and liars who have their own agenda for seeking profit and fame.”
A recently launched campaign led by the Time’s Up initiative called #MuteRKelly is asking for a boycott of the singer’s music amid the accusations against him. Kelly’s team called the campaign an “attempted public lynching” in a statement to Variety late last month.
Spotify says on its website that its hate content and hateful conduct policy aims to promote “openness, diversity, tolerance and respect.”
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