If you woke up this morning and were checking for R. Kelly’s “Ignition” on any of Spotify’s playlists, you may have found that it is no longer there. Spotify announced earlier this week that it would no longer promote the Chicago R&B singer’s music on any of its editorial or algorithmic playlists beginning Thursday. This decision comes as a result of Spotify’s new public hate content and hateful conduct policy which will dictate how Spotify responds to allegations of domestic violence, sexual assault, etc. involving an artist going forward. In a recent statement, Spotify stated, “We are removing R. Kelly’s music from all Spotify owned and operated playlists and algorithmic recommendations such as Discover Weekly.” Furthermore, Spotify added, “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.”
Individually, Jonathan Prince, Spotify’s Vice President and Head of Content and Marketplace Policy, stated, “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.”
This decision comes two weeks after it is alleged that a BBC documentary that included an investigation into R. Kelly’s past regarding sexual misconduct led the singer’s lawyer and publicist to quit. However, this is nothing new for the musician. Over the past two decades, Kelly has faced allegations of marrying Aaliyah when she was underaged, engaging in sexual acts with a minor in the early 2000’s and most recently, a 2017 Buzzfeed expose accused the singer of having a sex cult and holding women against their will.
Kelly has yet to respond to this new development involving the streaming titan. Check Def Pen later for any updates.