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R Kelly responds to Spotify removing his music from playlists: 'It is bowing to social media fads'

Controversial rapper XXXTentacion was also dropped from Spotify's playlists

Roisin O'Connor
Music Correspondent
Saturday 12 May 2018 15:02 BST
Alleged R Kelly victims go on Today show: 'you would address him as 'Daddy' or get slapped'

R Kelly has attacked Spotify after the music streaming service dropped his songs from its curated playlists, following the introduction of a new policy on hate content and hateful content.

It comes following a string of sexual misconduct allegations against the 51-year-old R&B singer, who has strongly denied any wrongdoing. The move also follows a recent campaign to #MuteRKelly, which was supported by the Women of Colour group in the Time’s Up movement.

Rapper XXXTentacion was also axed from playlists as a result of the streaming service’s new policy. The 20-year-old is awaiting trial over allegations that he beat up his pregnant girlfriend.

R Kelly – who has not been convicted of any crimes despite allegations of sexual misconduct that stretch back over two decades – released a statement which said his songs were about his “love and passion for women”, and claimed the service was continuing to promote songs by other artists that were “violent and anti-women in nature”.

His management said: “R Kelly never has been accused of hate, and the lyrics he writes express love and desire.

“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.”

Aishah White, a spokeswoman for XXXTentacion, told The New York Times via email: “I don’t have a comment, just a question. Will Spotify remove all the artists listed below from playlists?”

She then included the names of several musicians who have also faced allegations of sexual misconduct or violence over the years.

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