National

He's accused of running a sex cult — so Spotify won't promote R. Kelly's music anymore

Spotify announced Thursday that it won't promote the music of singer R. Kelly. The announcement came amid a push from Times Up leaders to "mute" the R&B artist, who is accused of running a sex cult.
Spotify announced Thursday that it won't promote the music of singer R. Kelly. The announcement came amid a push from Times Up leaders to "mute" the R&B artist, who is accused of running a sex cult. Creative Commons -- Nicholas Ballasy

It might be harder for Spotify users to find songs from R&B artist R. Kelly.

The music streaming platform told Billboard in a statement that it will no longer promote Kelly's music in "Spotify owned and operated playlists and algorithmic recommendations such as Discover Weekly."

Spotify said it made the decision because Kelly violated its new terms and conditions on "Hate Content and Hateful Conduct."

"We don’t censor content because of an artist’s or creator’s behavior, but we want our editorial decisions — what we choose to program — to reflect our values," it reads in part. "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."

But people can still search for Kelly's music and find it.

"His music will still be available on the service, but Spotify will not actively promote it," the platform told Billboard.

Kelly has been accused of running a sex cult and sexual encounters with underage women since 1994 — and also faced charges of creating child pornography, as noted by Vox. He was found not guilty.

The singer briefly married Aaliyah, a pop star, when she was just 15 but had a birth certificate that said she was 18, The Guardian reported. Her parents annulled the marriage about a year later.

Kelly was the lead songwriter on Aaliyah's debut album "Age Ain't Nothing but a Number."

Another woman accused Kelly of "grooming" her for his sex cult and filed a police report last month, according to Rolling Stone. A lawyer for the woman said she suffered "serious bodily injury" from a "sexual assault incident."

Other women have come forward in a Buzzfeed story, saying that Kelly has "brainwashed" their daughters into his cult.

In a statement to Buzzfeed, a representative for Kelly denied the accusations of sexual violence and compared them to a lynching.

"R. Kelly supports the pro-women goals of the Time’s Up movement. We understand criticizing a famous artist is a good way to draw attention to those goals — and in this case, it is unjust and off-target," his representative said. "(It's an) attempted public lynching of a black man who has made extraordinary contributions to our culture."

There's been a growing push to "mute" Kelly from leaders of Time's Up, an organization fighting against sexual assault in the #MeToo era.

They released a statement about it on May 1, according to Variety. The letter said that they want justice for the singer's accusers, who are mostly black.

“As women of color within Time’s Up, we recognize that we have a responsibility to help right this wrong,” the letter said in part. “We intend to shine a bright light on our WOC sisters in need. It is our hope that we will never feel ignored or silenced ever again.”

  Comments