R. Kelly 

NEW YORK (AP) — Spotify has removed R. Kelly‘s music from its playlists, citing its new policy on hate content and hateful conduct.

A spokesperson said Thursday that Kelly’s music is no longer available on the streaming service’s owned and operated playlists and algorithmic recommendations. His music will still be available, but Spotify will not promote it.

Kelly’s representative didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

The new policy defines hateful conduct as “something that is especially harmful or hateful,” such as violence against children and sexual violence.

It’s another blow for the R&B superstar, who has been battling allegations that he has sexually abused women for decades. While Kelly has denied the allegations and was acquitted in 2008 of child pornography charges, recent attention and a #MuteRKelly campaign has put the singer, songwriter and producer under more scrutiny. He was recently dropped from a concert in his hometown of Chicago, and there is pressure to cancel a Friday concert in Greensboro, North Carolina.

In its policy, Spotify made it clear that it doesn’t tolerate “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.”

Kelly’s music doesn’t apply — it’s been defined by its explicit sexual nature — but he’s also written love ballads, pop songs and even gospel music.

However, the new policy also delves into an artist’s behavior.

“While we don’t believe in censoring content because of an artist’s or creator’s behavior, we want our editorial decisions — what we choose to program — to reflect our values,” the statement said. “So, in some circumstances, 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.

The policy will apply to songs R. Kelly performs on as a solo artist or with other artists, like “Same Girl,” which he wrote for Usher.

But songs he wrote for other acts like Michael Jackson will not be affected.

Kelly isn’t the only artist affected by the policy. Rapper XXXtentacion, who is awaiting trial on charges that he beat up his pregnant girlfriend, has also been removed from Spotify’s playlists.

However, there are a myriad of other artists who in theory could be the subject to the policy. Chris Brown is featured in several Spotify-created playlists; he pleaded guilty to an attack on Rihanna several years ago. And there are a multitude of songs from artists in different genres that could be construed as hateful.

Spotify said it worked with several groups to create its policy, including GLAAD, the Anti-Defamation League and The Southern Poverty Law Center. It has also created what it calls an internal monitoring tool to identify content flagged as hateful and has asked users for their help as well.


Shawn Marsh contributed to this story.


1. 1994: R. Kelly Marries Aaliyah

R. Kelly worked with singer Aaliyah on her début album “Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number.” R. Kelly, 27, marries Aaliyah when she’s 15 and has her age stated as 18 on their marriage certificate. They annulled the marriage that same year and vowed to never speak about it again.

(Photo Source: PR Photos/ News Source: Newsweek)

2. 1996: Tiffany Hawkins Sues R. Kelly For Alleged Sexual Misconduct

Tiffany Hawkins sues the singer for allegedly engaging ” in inappropriate sexual conduct with (her), included but not limited to engaging in group sexual intercourse with her) and other minors.” At the time Hawkins was 15 and R. Kelly was 24. They ended up settling the suit with an undisclosed amount.

(Photo Source: PR Photos/ News Source: Newsweek)

3. 2000: Chicago Police Open An Investigation

In 2000, the Chicago Police sex crimes unit opened an investigation into R. Kelly about two alleged separate sexual misconduct allegations. This came after DeRogatis a person who worked for the “Sun-Times” received an anonymous tip. Even so, police were unable to find witnesses who’d come forward.

(Photo Source: AP Photos/ News Source: Newsweek)

4. 2001: Tracy Sampson Sues R. Kelly For Alleged Sexual Assault And Harrasment

Former Epic employee Tracy Sampson sued R. Kelly for $50k claiming that he allegedly sexually assaulted and harassed her. Sampson says that he forced her at 17 to have oral sex with another woman against her will. That case settled for another undisclosed amount.

(Photo Source: AP Photos/ News Source: Newsweek)

5. 2002: Patrice Jones Sues R. Kelly After He Allegedly Got Her Pregnant

On Saturday’s we 🏀

A post shared by R Kelly (@rkelly) on

At the age of 16, Patrice Jones claims R. Kelly allegedly got her pregnant and then forced her to get an abortion. Montina Woods sues Kelly a weeks later for allegedly taping them having sex without her permission. Both cases were settled with an undisclosed amount. Later on, a sex tape of Kelly allegedly having sex with a minor is released and he gets indicted on 21 charges of child pornography in Illinois.

(News Source: Newsweek)

6. 2003: Florida Police Charge R. Kelly With Child Pornography

Sometimes you have to just let it out! #TBT

A post shared by R Kelly (@rkelly) on

In Florida, police obtained a camera that contained images of Kelly allegedly having sex with under-aged girls. In addition to his 21 counts of child pornography in Illinois, the state of Florida charged him with 12 more.

(News Source: Newsweek)

7. 2003: The Girl In The 2002 Sex Tape Was 14

It’s cold out here on the East Coast!

A post shared by R Kelly (@rkelly) on

It’s revealed while R. Kelly is on trial for his child pornography charges in Illinois, the girl who appeared in a 2002 sex tape was only 14-years-old.

(News Source: Newsweek)

8. 2008: R. Kelly Wins His Illinois Trial


A post shared by R Kelly (@rkelly) on

After three years of being on trial for child pornography in Illinois, Kelly wins the case. A jury consisting of nine men and three women found him not guilty.

(News Source: Newsweek)

9. 2017: Mississippi Sheriff Sues R. Kelly

Grateful. Thankful. Expecting. Praying. Creating. And Enjoying Life. #KingDay

A post shared by R Kelly (@rkelly) on

In 2017, R. Kelly gets sued by a Mississippi Sheriff that accused the singer of allegedly having an affair with his wife.

(News Source: Newsweek)

10. 2017: R. Kelly Accused Of Holding Women Hostage In His Home

Happy Sunday, Fam!!

A post shared by R Kelly (@rkelly) on

DeRogatis publishes an article to BuzzFeed claiming that R. Kelly was allegedly holding 6 women against their will at his Chicago and Atlanta houses. The report suggests that Kelly dictated every part of their lives.

(News Source: Newsweek)

11. 2018: Unnamed Woman Accuses R. Kelly Of Giving Her An STI

TODAY is your newest gift...enjoy it! #MorningsWithKellz #HappyWednesday

A post shared by R Kelly (@rkelly) on

A woman who remains unnamed accused R. Kelly of allegedly giving her an STI.

(News Source: Newsweek)


(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)

6 thoughts on “Spotify Cuts R. Kelly Music From Playlists, Cites New Policy

  1. Karl Crosby on said:

    He is a great R&B singer but who never could have seemed to have gotten his personal life together. He performs great and always did but he appears to always have been too street-wise.
    With all that bullshit in his song lyrics all throughout his singing career. It would seem like he would have straighten up and fly right by now. He should go seek professional help concerning why he seems even in his song lyrics and videos as been so craving on sex. Something needs to be investigated. He’s too great of a singer, songwriter and producer to let his career go down wasted.

  2. ResponsibilityInControl on said:

    They should do this across the whole platform! There are countless ignorant hate filled and violence promoting rap songs on Spotify. So they should enforce this same policy on the rap genres as well. Why are people still going to his shows?

  3. Passing Through!! on said:

    I stopped supporting him years ago when the first allegations came out and the picture of the young girl straddled naked sitting on his**** against the hot tub. The only reason he got off is because the girl refused to testify against him, I don’t know if she was embarrassed or just brain washed. Had she testified his perverted, sick ass would still be rotting in prison today. R Kelly even had the nerve to say that the picture/video may have been some kind of camera trick and continues with his sexual perversion today. But I guess since these young ladies are black they don’t get the white “ME TOO swift” justice.

    • Amber on said:

      This why you have to judge every case on a case by case base and based on the evidence and testimony. Also, Pictures were found in hi computer, home, etc but was thrown out due to illegally search. R Kelly is one you can say “got off” from going to jail unlike others who were falsely accused.

  4. Ted Gravely on said:

    No tears. There were always rumors about R and Aaliyah. How can that grown man justify sexing a 15 year old? This brother is a sick predator and I won’t continue to support him. He can say that the young women he is sleeping with now are of age, but Aaliyah certainly was not. I have no sympathy for him. He has ruined a lot of young women. Sicko.

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