R&B singer R Kelly’s music has been removed from playlists and recommendations on Spotify, the streaming service says, following a campaign to boycott the singer who has been accused of sexual misconduct.
Kelly, one of the most successful R&B singers of the past 20 years, is the target of an online #MuteRKelly boycott campaign that gained new attention last week when it was adopted by the Time’s Up anti-sexual harassment movement.
Kelly, 51, has repeatedly denied the accusations.
The decision to stop actively promoting the singer’s music falls within a new policy that better reflects the company’s values, Spotify said in a statement.
“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,” said Spotify, whose 75 million paid subscribers make it the world’s largest music streaming service.
“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 action will affect Spotify-owned and operated playlists and algorithmic recommendations, the company said.
Kelly’s music will still be available on the service but the decision to remove it from playlists means it will no longer be promoted.
— TIME'S UP (@TIMESUPNOW) May 10, 2018
The singer’s representatives and his record label RCA have not yet responded to requests for comment.
The I Believe I Can Fly singer has denied accusations of sexual misconduct that have dogged him for decades, including a claim he was keeping a household of young women in a “cult” atmosphere.
He was acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008.
But Time’s Up last week issued a statement calling on companies associated with his music business to cut ties with the singer.
The move to quit promoting Kelly’s music came on the same day that Spotify unveiled a new hate content and hateful conduct policy aimed to remove or refrain from recommending music that “promotes, advocates, or incites hatred or violence against a group or individual”.
Spotify has in the past removed content related to neo-Nazis and white supremacists.
Photo: AP / Frank Micelotta