R Kelly’s music removed from Spotify playlists amid sexual misconduct allegations

Streaming service will no longer "actively promote" controversial star's music

Spotify has announced that it is removing R Kelly‘s music from its editorial or algorithmic playlists amid sexual misconduct allegations facing the star.

Last year, R&B singer Kelly was accused of running an “abusive and controlling cult” of young women. This March, R&B performer Kelly was accused of grooming a 14 year-old girl to be his sex “pet”. Then, in April, Dallas police confirmed they were investigating claims that Kelly gave a woman a STD and plied her with drugs and alcohol when she was 19. He has denied all allegations of sexual misconduct.

In a statement issued to Billboard, Spotify has confirmed that it is “removing R Kelly’s music from all Spotify owned and operated playlists and algorithmic recommendations”. While Kelly’s music will “still be available on the service”, the company says it 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,” the statement continues.

The decision comes as part of the streaming service’s new Hate Content & Hateful Conduct policy, which aims to promote “openness, diversity, tolerance and respect”.

The policy notes that: “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”.

Billboard has reported that Kelly was “the only artist that Spotify specifically acknowledged would fall under this new public policy” and that other artists “may also be affected”.

The New York Times has now reported that XXXTentacion‘s music has been pulled from Spotify’s playlists too. The rapper has been accused of domestic abuse in the past.

R Kelly


Kelly has recently had concerts cancelled following the #MuteRKelly social campaign, which has called on companies working with Kelly to sever ties with the star.

In a recent statement, the star said he is “heartbroken” by the allegations, describing himself as “a God-fearing man, a son, a brother, and most importantly a father”.

Kelly went on to claim that the media has “perpetuated… dissected and manipulated these false allegations” in an “attempt to distort my character and to destroy my legacy that I have worked so hard to build”.

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