Sony Music has reportedly dropped embattled singer R. Kelly from their record label and their subsidiary, RCA Records, amid multiple sexual misconduct allegations which were resurfaced in Lifetime’s documentary series “Surviving R. Kelly.”
A source told Variety that there are no immediate plans for Sony to release a statement about them cutting ties with Kelly, 52. However, the source said the label took its time to “responsibly” assess the allegations against Kelly as they wanted to avoid legal repercussions. The magazine confirmed that RCA Records has removed Kelly from their online roster which lists all their signed artists.
Billboard reported that Kelly’s been signed with Jive since the early ’90s, though Jive was later brought under Sony’s umbrella. Kelly’s been signed with RCA since 2012. Despite Kelly and Sony parting ways, his catalog will reportedly remain with the label—meaning his music will still be available through digital retailers and streaming services.
However, the stipulations surrounding Kelly’s reported departure are unknown at this point in time. The New York Times noted that his last album through RCA was in 2016; his controversial 16-minute track, “I Admit,” was posted online last year without RCA’s involvement.
The reported split is presumably in response to “Surviving R. Kelly,” a six-part docuseries which aired on Lifetime on January 2-5. The series featured interviews with multiple people who accused the singer of sexual abuse and keeping women captive at his Georgia and Illinois homes.
Kelly had previously denied all claims of sexual misconduct. With those allegations back into the limelight, a source told TMZ that Kelly plans to sue everyone who contributed to the series.
Billboard reported Friday that “Ignition” and “I Believe I Can Fly,” two of Kelly’s most popular songs, have made their way onto Billboard 200 R&B Digital Song Sales chart. “Ignition” saw a 191 percent surge in sales, landing in the number 12 spot, while “I Believe I Can Fly” is number 16 on the chart.
The outlet reported that multiple songs from R. Kelly’s catalog have experienced significant boosts in online streaming since “Surviving R. Kelly.” For instance, streams for “Trapped in the Closet” and “Bump N’ Grind” have seen spikes of 194 and 58 percent, respectively.
[Featured image: R. Kelly/Matt Sayles/Invision/AP]