Apple Music and Pandora join Spotify in pulling R. Kelly from playlists
The three major streaming services Spotify, Apple Music and Pandora have now pulled R. Kelly’s music from their playlists and marketing activities.
Fans can still find his music on the services if they seek it out.
But the songs won’t be promoted through their recommendation algorithm, discovery playlists and social media postings.
As TMN reported, Spotify was the first to make an announcement about its decision citing its rules on “hateful content” and “hateful behaviour”.
The scandal-plagued R&B singer is staring down efforts by women’s groups to have him dropped from streaming, radio and concerts, as well as from his record company.
But it seems Apple Music had already made the move weeks before Spotify.
It was merely waiting for all of the singer’s works to be yanked from all its playlists, following their disappearance from Best Slow Jams of the 90s Vol. 1 and Vol. 2.
Pandora said in an official statement: “Pandora’s policy is to not actively promote artists with certain demonstrable behavioural, ethical or criminal issues.
“We approach each of these scenarios on a case–by–case basis to ensure we address components true to Pandora’s principles while not overreaching and avoiding censorship.”
Accusations were made against the singer of “abusive and controlling” behaviour, some of under-aged women, and of keeping a sex cult.
Kelly has denied all the allegations, and some sectors of the music industry are concerned that such moves are being made without the claims being tested in a court of law.
Billboard wondered if bans could extend to songwriters and producers, and if at any stage a banned artist could return to playlists.
It also speculated on what kind of artists would be targeted next, and if black R&B and hip hop artists would be scrutinised harder as a result.
Or if it would be retro-applied to white rock bands like Led Zeppelin and Guns N’Roses.
Kelly’s management responded to last week’s announcement: “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. “
In April, Dallas police began investigating allegations he had “intentionally” given a 19-year-old woman an STD and got her drunk.