R Kelly was dropped by record label Sony Music following allegations of sexual abuse



January 19, 2019 09:32:19

Sony Music's record label, RCA, quietly parted ways with R. Kelly, according to reports from Billboard and Variety magazine.

Key points:

  • Kelly has been accused of sexual, physical and emotional abuse by many women
  • Allegations were made on a recent document Surviving R Kelly, which the artist denied
  • Protests and petitions have asked record labels to drop artists

The reported split came after decades of alleged sexual and physical abuse by the Grammy-winning singer, who was the subject of a new six-hour television documentary entitled Surviving R Kelly, which aired earlier this month.

Kelly's lawyer denied the allegations.

RCA representatives and Kelly did not return calls to comment on Friday.

Kelly, who is famous for hit songs such as Ignition (Remix) and I Believe I Can Fly, no longer appears on the artist list on the RCA website.

Variety, citing unnamed sources, said Sony Music had decided to "dissolve its working relationship" with Kelly, but no external announcements would be made.

Billboard reported that musicians and record companies had agreed to split, citing unnamed sources.

It said the Kelly catalog would remain with RCA.

The music is still available at digital retailers and streaming services.

#MuteRKelly movement

RCA came under renewed pressure this month to overthrow Kelly after a Lifetime documentary in which many women, including his ex-wife, made accusations in front of the camera about emotional, sexual and physical abuse.

Campaigners from the #MuteRKelly pressure group sent a petition signed by around 217,000 people to Sony headquarters in New York City earlier this week asking record companies to drop musicians.

Kelly, 52, released her last album in 2016.

He tweeted earlier this month that the new album was on its way.

The group called for a boycott of artists

Last year, the Time & Up campaign sought action from RCA, Spotify and Apple Music, which streamed the Kelly catalog; and Ticketmaster, who have sold tickets to the concert on these charges.

A few months later in May, Spotify stopped promoting R & B singers.

That came the same day Spotify launched a new hate content and hate behavior policy that aims to remove or refrain from recommending music that "promotes, advocates or incites hatred or violence against groups or individuals".

Chance the Rapper has also apologized for collaborating with singers on the Somewhere in Paradise track.

Lady Gaga also condemned Kelly, issued an emotional apology for her work with her.

"I stand behind these women 1,000 percent, trust them, know they are suffering and in pain, and feel strong that their voices must be heard and responded to seriously," he wrote.

Meanwhile, actress Jada Pinkett Smith and Kerry Washington, along with other rappers, have also talked about the star.

What are the charges?

The documentary examines decades of allegations of sexual abuse against Kelly.

It was alleged that Kelly married singer Aaliyah in 1994, when she was 15 years old.

Aaliyah, who died in a plane crash in 2001, has become his protégé and both work together on his album Age Ain 'Nothing but a Number.

According to reports, the alleged marriage was later canceled and both refused to confirm that it had happened.

Kelly was previously accused of child pornography after a widely circulated video showed him having sex with an underage girl.

But he was released from all charges in 2008 and continues to make music.

In 2017, a BuzzFeed article claimed the singer was guarding young women's households in "crude cults", controlling "every aspect of their lives".

Kelly allegedly detained six women in Chicago and Atlanta, where their contact with the outside world was restricted and their routines were controlled.

He denied the allegations and one of the girls identified in the claim later told the news channel, through a video call, that he was not detained at his will.

Last year, Kelly released a 19-minute song that denied his crime, called I Admit.

He sings that he likes "old and young women," following up with: "But tell me how they call it pedophiles because of that [expletive] crazy. "

ABC / Cable





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