Spotify removes R Kelly music from streaming services

Spotify has taken the decision to remove all R Kelly music from its streaming services as part of a new public hate content and hateful conduct policy.

Fresh allegations claimed that the 51-year-old R&B singer “knowingly and intentionally infected” a 19-year-old woman with an STD. On top of that, Far Out Magazine recently reported the claims laid out R Kelly groomed a 14-year-old girl to be his “fucking pet” and ordered her to crawl around and perform oral sex on him and others on request. The latest allegations are just another in a string of claims made by ex-girlfriends and others close to the singer.

Now, in a damning statement against Kelly, Spotify will remove his music from all Spotify owned and operated playlists. “We are removing R. Kelly’s music from all Spotify owned and operated playlists and algorithmic recommendations such as Discover Weekly,” Spotify told Billboard 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.”

Amid all the speculation, Kelly has been dropped by representatives following more harrowing sexual assault allegations and seen one of his shows in Chicago cancelled.

The R&B singer has apparently seen his lawyer, publicist and assistant walk away following the severity of the sexual assault allegations outlined on a new and disturbing BBC Three documentary.

“When we look at promotion, we look at issues around hateful conduct, where you have an artist or another creator who has done something off-platform that is so particularly out of line with our values, egregious, in a way that it becomes something that we don’t want to associate ourselves with,” Jonathan Prince, Spotify’s vp/head of content and marketplace policy, tells Billboard. “So we’ve decided that in some circumstances, we may choose to not work with that artist or their content in the same way — to not program it, to not playlist it, to not do artist marketing campaigns with that artist.”

The removal of Kelly’s music comes under the new Spotify policy, it 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,” the policy reads. “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.”

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