Top-charting 1990s - early 2000s music artist R. Kelly has recently been the center of several disturbing sexual misconduct allegations. R. Kelly is best-known for his hit R&B songs including “Ignition,” “I Believe I Can Fly,” “The World’s Greatest,” “Number One,” and several others.
In 2017, the singer was accused of running a “sex cult” in his home. He initially denied the sexual assault accusations but has stayed fairly silent since last year. However, his name recently resurfaced after additional accusers came forward.
In wake of the new allegations, Spotify confirmed to Billboard that they would no longer be promoting R. Kelly’s music under a “public hate content and hateful conduct policy.”
“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," Spotify revealed in a statement.
R. Kelly’s management team responded to the actions of Spotify on Thursday afternoon. In the statement, R. Kelly’s team denied the most recent allegations. From their perspective, Spotify’s actions were unfair, especially since the company promotes songs from other music artists who have been convicted of violent charges against women.
“Mr. Kelly for 30 years has sung about his love and passion for women,” the statement said. “He is innocent of the false and hurtful accusations in the ongoing smear campaign against him, waged by enemies seeking a payoff. He never has been convicted of a crime, nor does he have any pending criminal charges against him.”
“Spotify has the right to promote whatever music it chooses, and in this case its actions are without merit. It is acting based on false and unproven allegations,” the statement continued. “It is bowing to social media fads and picking sides in a fame-seeking dispute over matters that have nothing to do with serving customers.”
The statement added, “Spotify promotes numerous other artists who are convicted felons, others who have been arrested on charges of domestic violence and artists who sing lyrics that are violent and anti-women in nature...Mr. Kelly falls into none of these categories, and it is unfortunate and shortsighted that Spotify fails to recognize this.”
Read the full statement below:
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