Spotify bosses have removed all traces of R. Kelly from their streaming site playlists under their new public hate content and hateful conduct policy.
Fans will no longer be able to stream the soul star’s music on popular playlists like RapCaviar and New Music Friday.
“We are removing R. Kelly’s music from all Spotify-owned and operated playlists and algorithmic recommendations such as Discover Weekly,” a spokesman tells WENN 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 behaviour, but we want our editorial decisions – what we choose to program – to reflect our values. 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 move comes following a string of sexual violence allegations against Kelly, who has been accused of running a “sex cult”. Two new accusers came forward this week (beg07May18).
Last year (17) the parents of two women alleged Kelly had “brainwashed” their daughters into a “sex cult”. Former associates have also accused him of sexual violence and of confessing to grooming an underage girl to become his sex partner – claims he vehemently denies.
The I Believe I Can Fly singer has been under renewed scrutiny after stars involved in the Time’s Up movement, including Ava DuVernay and Shonda Rhimes, called on music industry executives to cut ties with Kelly over the allegations.
Kelly has never been convicted of a crime and insists his accusers are attempting “to distort my character and to destroy my legacy”.
Spotify’s new hateful conduct provision policy statement reads: “Hate content is content that expressly and principally promotes, advocates, or incites hatred or violence against a group or individual based on characteristics, including, race, religion, gender identity, sex, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, veteran status, or disability.
“When we are alerted to content that violates our policy, we may remove it (in consultation with rights holders) or refrain from promoting or manually programming it on our service.”
So far he is the only artist specifically named as being affected by Spotify’s new policy, which has been drawn up with leaders from various advocacy, anti-hate and civil rights groups.