It's taken quite a while since rumours of his alleged misdemeanours first emerged, but it seems that people and companies are finally taking a stand against R. Kelly.
The r'n'b singer has been the subject of some disturbing sexual assault allegations in recent months, and now Spotify has announced that it will stop actively promoting his music and remove his songs from their curated playlists, as part of their new 'hate content and hate conduct' policies. It has also removed hip-hop artist XXXTentacion for similar reasons.
However, they have stopped short of removing his music from the streaming platform entirely.
They told Billboard: "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."
Kelly's team, meanwhile, responded with a statement of their own, calling the recent allegations a 'smear campaign' and 'false and hurtful'.
"R Kelly never has been accused of hate, and the lyrics he writes express love and desire," it read. "Mr. Kelly for 30 years has sung songs about his love and passion for women. 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.
"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. It is bowing to social-media fads and picking sides in a fame-seeking dispute over matters that have nothing to do with serving customers. Meanwhile, though, Spotify promotes numerous other artists who are convicted felons, others who have been arrested on charges of domestic violence and artists who sing lyrics that are violent and anti-women in nature.
"Mr. Kelly falls into none of these categories, and it is unfortunate and shortsighted that Spotify fails to recognize this."