Streaming services join the movement to mute R Kelly

  • 13/05/2018
R Kelly pefoming
Photo credit: Getty

Apple Music has followed Spotify in ceasing to promote R Kelly through its streaming services. 

The music giants have removed the artist from featured playlists following a call from the Time's Up campaign to '#muteRKelly'. 

Kelly has denied allegations of sexual misconduct which have plagued him over two decades. 

The Time's Up campaign is supported by women of colour within the movement who called for the music giants to stop streaming his music. 

Last month, the women penned an open letter asking his label RCA records, Ticketmaster, Spotify and Apple Music as well as Greensboro Coliseum Complex, where Kelly held his most recent concert, to join the movement.

The women asked for corporations and venues with ties to R Kelly to "insist on safety and dignity for women of all kinds".

Spotify was the first to join the campaign last Thursday. The streaming service introduced a new policy on hate content, removing it from its curated playlists.

Rapper XXXTentacion has also been excluded from playlists as he awaits trial for allegedly beating up his pregnant girlfriend.

In a statement, R Kelly slammed Spotify and said his songs were not about hate but rather his "love and passion for women". 

His management said the streaming service is acting on unproven and false allegations. 

"It is bowing to social media fads and picking sides in a fame-seeking dispute."

R Kelly performed at the Greensboro Coliseum in North Carolina on Friday night, but a crowd of protesters stood outside. 

During the show, he passed out T-shirts which read "Turn up R Kelly," thanking the audience for their support. 

The show was reportedly sexually explicit, with the singer at one point rubbing a fan's phone between his legs. 

He told the crowd, "As long as my fans are calling for me, I'm gonna be on that stage, singing these songs."