By Aric Jenkins
May 10, 2018

Spotify on Thursday removed the music of R&B singer R. Kelly from its official playlists as part of a new policy prohibiting hateful content and conduct on the streaming service.

Going forward, R. Kelly’s songs will be absent from popular playlists like RapCaviar, Discover Weekly, New Music Friday, or any of the mood or genre-based playlists created and managed by Spotify’s curation team, Billboard reported.

“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 behavior, 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.”

R. Kelly performs at Little Caesars Arena on February 21, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan.
Scott Legato Getty Images

R. Kelly has come under increased scrutiny in recent weeks as more allegations of his sexual misconduct have emerged. Dating back to 2000, the 51-year-old singer has been accused of having sex with underage girls, sexual violence, and running an abusive “sex cult.” R. Kelly has denied all allegations and has never been convicted of a crime. Last month, women of color within the Time’s Up movement launched a #MuteRKelly campaign.

According to Billboard, R. Kelly is the only artist who is specifically affected by Spotify’s new policy, though others may fall under the umbrella as well.

“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 vice president and head of content and marketplace policy, told 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.”

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