UPDATE: A rep for Spotify has confirmed to NY Times that chart topping rapper-singer XXXTentacion’s music has also got the same treatment. As recently as Wednesday, XXXTentacion was featured on the popular Rap Caviar playlist on the streaming service. He is currently facing charges in Florida that include aggravated battery of a pregnant woman and witness tampering.
Spotify has taken the decision to take R. Kelly’s music off its playlists. Beginning today (May 10), Spotify users will no longer be able to the legendary singer’s music on any of the streaming service’s editorial or algorithmic playlists.
The move is part of the streaming service’s new terms of public hate content and hateful conduct policy that went into effect recently. “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.”
“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 vp/head of content and marketplace policy continued. “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.”
Over the past couple of years, R. Kelly has been accused by multiple women of sexual violence, coercion and running a “sex cult” at his Chicago and Atlanta homes. Two additional women, Lizzette Martinez and Michelle (whose last name is being withheld to protect her daughter’s privacy) came forward to Buzzfeed this week with similar allegations.
R. Kelly is the only artist that Spotify has specifically announced would fall under this new public policy, although his music will still be available for streaming on the platform.