Spotify removes R Kelly music from playlist and he fires back

On Thursday (May 10), Spotify shocked many by revealing the removal of R. Kelly’s music, as well as XXXTentacion’s, from its playlists. While the R&B singer’s songs and albums will still be available on the service, his team is now firing back at what they call actions without merit.

In a statement released yesterday by R. Kelly’s camp, his management said “Spotify has the right to promote whatever music it chooses, and in this case its actions are without merit. It is acting based on false and unproven allegations,” the Los Angeles Times reports.

According to Kelly’s team, the streaming service has succumbed to “social media fads” and has chosen to pick sides “in a fame-seeking dispute over matters that have nothing to do with serving customers.”

Spotify’s decision to remove the artist’s music from its playlists comes after the Swedish entertainment company introduced its new hate content and hateful conduct policy, and arrives on the heels of the women of color in the Time’s Up movement joining the #MuteRKelly campaign. According to Spotify, the new policy is a way to reflect the company’s values.

“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,” a statement issued to XXL reads. “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.”

But R. Kelly’s team slammed the policy, saying, “R. Kelly never has been accused of hate, and the lyrics he writes express love and desire… He is innocent of the false and hurtful accusations in the ongoing smear campaign against him, waged by enemies seeking a payoff. He never has been convicted of a crime, nor does he have any pending criminal charges against him.”

While Kelly and XXXTentacion are the only artists to have their music removed from playlists so far, X’s team asked if other artist’s with controversial pasts will have their music removed as well.

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