Sony Music has decided to dissolve its working relationship with R. Kelly.
Kelly’s presence on the RCA website (where he remains listed) will not indicate his departure from the company, as his back catalog will remain with RCA/Sony.
Kelly’s last release with the label was a Christmas-themed album in 2016, although he has released several songs independently since that time, presumably with Sony’s consent, and tweeted earlier this year that he has a new album on the way.
The move comes after years of public calls, and even a petition from members of the #MuteRKelly movement, for the company to part ways with Kelly. Those calls intensified in the wake of Lifetime documentary “Surviving R. Kelly,” in which multiple women accuse him of sexual misconduct.
In recent weeks a plane commissioned by the women’s organization UltraViolet and carrying a sign reading “RCA/Sony: Drop Sexual Predator R. Kelly” flew over Sony Music’s Los Angeles offices and a protest was staged outside of Sony’s New York headquarters.
Allegations of sexually abusive behavior by Kelly toward young women date back more than 20 years. Most infamously, Kelly was charged with child pornography in 2000 after a video surfaced that purported to show him having sex with an underage woman (Kelly was cleared in 2008 after that woman declined to testify against him).
By Damilola Faustino