Spotify, music streaming platform has announced that it would no longer feature songs by R. Kelly in its playlists or user recommendations, after the
Spotify, music streaming platform has announced that it would no longer feature songs by R. Kelly in its playlists or user recommendations, after the #Time’sUp movement for gender equality urged the music business to dump the R&B star over sexual abuse allegations. The move marks the first application of Spotify’s new policy on “Hate Content & Hateful Conduct,” which states an artist’s behavior may result in changes in how Spotify promotes their content.Users of both the free and subscription-based versions of Spotify will still be able to find R. Kelly’s music on the service. However, he will no longer appear in playlists curated by the platform or algorithm-generated recommendation.
“When an artist or creator does something that is especially harmful or hateful (for example, violence against children and sexual violence), it may affect the ways we work with or support that artist or creator. 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,” a spokesperson for the Swedish streaming service said.
A representative for R. Kelly said in a statement that there was no basis for the move by Spotify and that R. Kelly is innocent of the allegations against him.
“R. Kelly never has been accused of hate, and the lyrics he writes express love and desire. He is innocent of the false and hurtful accusations in the ongoing smear campaign against him,” the statement said.
Robert Sylvester Kelly more popularly known as R Kelly is accused of sexual abuse against young women and underage girls dating back over a decade, but he has never been convicted. The singer and producer, who is 51, was charged with child pornography offenses in 2002, but was acquitted in 2008. He is also accused of holding six women in virtual slavery at his homes in Chicago and Atlanta, with power over their clothing, diet and sexual encounters. Meanwhile, in April, police in Dallas, Texas, opened an investigation into allegations Kelly gave a 19-year-old girl a sexually transmitted disease without telling her. He has not been charged, however, and has denied all the allegations.
The #Time’sUp movement created in the wake of a watershed of sexual harassment allegations involving powerful men across several industries demanded that all these allegations be investigated appropriately. The organization also called upon several music industry heavyweights, including streaming services, as well as Kelly’s record label to cut ties with him.