R. Kelly is no longer on the record label RCA/SONY after growing backlash from Lifetime’s “Surviving R. Kelly” docuseries aired, which covered the multiple sexual assault allegations surrounding the singer.
The label hasn’t made an official announcement yet, but Kelly’s name was removed from the RCA website as of Friday, Jan. 18, 10:00 a.m. PST.
The news of the singer no longer being under the Sony/RCA umbrella comes after various women’s rights groups called for the label to drop him, #MuteRKelly arguably being the most well-known.
The organization Color of Change also demanded the singer to be dropped, as did the group Ultraviolet, who got an airplane to fly a banner over Sony’s headquarters that read “RCA/Sony: Drop Sexual Predator R. Kelly.”
And since the docuseries aired on Jan. 3, some artists who’ve collaborated with Kelly in the past said they’ll remove their songs from streaming sites including Chance The Rapper, Lady Gaga and Celine Dion. A few radio stations across the U.S. have stopped playing Kelly’s music as well.
His catalog will remain with Sony for the time being and still be available for purchase. It’s not certain if the sexual impropriety accusations were the sole reason for the move or if there were other factors involved. But the singer hasn’t released an album with the label since his 2016 holiday LP “12 Nights of Christmas.”
Upon hearing the news, the organizers of #MuteRKelly took to Instagram and celebrated the singer’s removal.
“We did it,” the message read. “@rcarecords is finally dropping @Rkelly from the label. Thank you everyone that signed the @care2 and @colorofchange petitions, tagged and tweeted the record label and reached out via email and letters. Pressure burst pipes.”
Ultraviolet released a statement on social media as well.
“This victory wouldn’t have been possible without the leadership of Black women and the years of work put in by @officialmuterkelly, @colorofchange, @ggenyc, and more,” it read. “So grateful to be a part of this fight. #DropRKelly #MuteRKelly.”