Bye: Sony Drops R. Kelly From Its Label
Two weeks after Lifetime’s Surviving R. Kelly documentary aired and nearly two years of the #MuteRKelly movement, Sony Music, his record label, has decided to end their relationship with the defamed singer.
According to Billboard, sources have said that both Sony and Kelly agreed to part ways. Reps for Sony have not publicly commented on their decision but Kelly’s name has been removed from the list of the RCA’s website.
When Kelly first began his career, he was signed to Jive Records, which eventually became part of Sony. He has been under contract with RCA, an extension of Sony, since 2012.
After the docuseries, protests began outside of the Sony building in Manhattan demanding that Kelly be dropped from the roster. In addition to the everyday person, celebrities like Chance The Rapper, Common, Tank, and many more have publicly denounced Kelly. Lady Gaga and Celine Dion, his former collaborators, removed their songs with Kelly from all streaming platforms.
His music has been recalled from two Dallas-area radio stations. Other community organizers have called for iHeartRadio and Radio One to ban his music as well.
In recent weeks, UltraViolet, a women’s organization, commissioned a plane to fly over Sony Music’s Los Angeles office. The plane carried a banner that read “RCA/Sony: Drop Sexual Predator R. Kelly”
While the calls for the label to drop R. Kelly are not new, the label has always been able to argue that Kelly had never been convicted of a crime associated with the allegations. Though there was plenty of evidence, including a marriage certificate to an underaged Aaliyah, the child pornography tape featuring him an a minor, dozens of settlements, additional child pornography tapes seized from his Florida home (The evidence was later thrown out because authorities gained access to his apartment without a warrant.), and most recently, allegations of a sex cult.
But with the documentary and the increased and notable public outcry, Sony’s hand was likely forced.