John Legend has described him as a “serial” abuser, Woman Gaga has apologised for working with him and Neyo says there’s “no excuse” to not “mute R Kelly”.
For 20 years, the Ignition (Remix) singer has confronted quite a few accusations of sexual misconduct – with most of the tales alleging he preyed on teenage ladies.
However the singer has by no means been convicted and denies any wrongdoing.
R Kelly’s massive hits are nonetheless performed by DJs internationally, he has an enormous fan base and he is thought-about one of many largest stars in RnB.
Nevertheless, a number of well-known individuals have now spoken out towards him following the discharge of a six-part documentary referred to as Surviving R Kelly – which has been proven on US channel Lifetime.
The programme outlined allegations from varied girls who say they have been victims of abuse by R Kelly.
As well as Lady Gaga, the claims have additionally prompted artists reminiscent of Likelihood the Rapper and French band Phoenix to apologise for working with him.
Whereas Omarion, whose group B2K had a few of their largest hits produced by R Kelly, mentioned the band will now not carry out songs written by the singer.
It is led to a renewed give attention to the marketing campaign to “Mute R Kelly” – which requires a boycott of his music and live shows.
It was launched in 2017 after different claims have been made towards the star and gained momentum final yr when well-known faces reminiscent of director Ava DuVernay and singer Janelle Monae came out to support the movement.
R Kelly is a reputation that BBC 1Xtra’s DJ Ace hasn’t mentioned on the radio in years. He as a substitute refers to him as “the individual whose title is not going to be spoken”.
As a part of a dialogue on whether or not an artist will be separated from their artwork, Ace mentioned he does not play R Kelly on his radio present or in DJ units.
“I’ve by no means performed an R Kelly document on [1Xtra show] All the pieces R&B. And I will not,” he instructed listeners to the present on Monday.
“I consider numerous the stuff that I’ve seen and I’ve heard about R Kelly, so in my view I cant take heed to these information in the identical manner.
“I consider all the girls, and I’ll by no means play an R Kelly document on this present or in a set.”
Fellow 1Xtra presenter Yasmin Evans agreed.
Yasmin and Ace instructed listeners that “loads” of 1Xtra’s DJs consider the allegations towards R Kelly and “need nothing to do with” his music.
However the official message from many radio stations on whether or not they’re now not enjoying R Kelly’s songs is a bit more difficult.
Newsbeat requested a number of the UK’s largest stations and streaming companies whether or not R Kelly would proceed to characteristic on their platforms.
Radio 1 and 1Xtra mentioned in an announcement that there are “at the moment” no R Kelly songs on both playlist – which in radio trade phrases is an inventory of songs chosen to be performed commonly on the airwaves.
However they didn’t say whether or not there was a full ban on ever having his songs performed on specialist reveals or if a listener requested one.
Different radio stations refused to touch upon whether or not they had blacklisted the star’s music – together with International, house to Capital FM and Capital Xtra, and Baeur Media, which owns the likes of Kiss FM.
Spotify selected to not remark and Beats 1, Apple Music and Tidal did not reply to repeated requests for remark.
Deezer was the one streaming service we contacted who had one thing to say.
In an announcement, it mentioned it has a “strict” course of in place for monitoring content material “whereas making certain that we don’t limit freedom of speech, regardless of our private view on any given artist or subject”.
“We’re following the dialog round R Kelly carefully however at this stage now we have not made any editorial adjustments to our playlists or content material library,” it added.
However ought to the individuals who present our music need to react to such widespread allegations?
Music journalist Natty Kasambala says it is “unrealistic” to count on stations and music companies to carry individuals to account for prices that have not essentially been put via a court docket of regulation but.
However she says if a station performs R Kelly it needs to be seen as a “assertion of assist”.
“For those who select to assist individuals within the midst of accusations reminiscent of this, we must always all be capable of take that as an announcement of character,” the Reprezent Radio and Basis FM DJ instructed Radio 1 Newsbeat.
Natty thinks there is a sufficiently big variety of individuals “refusing to simply accept his guilt or are making excuses for him” that R Kelly is not going to be muted.
“I do not assume we dwell in a world the place the people who find themselves towards this have sufficient energy to mute somebody like R Kelly – however I feel now we have change into an impediment in his success, which is sufficient for now, after which we’ll see what the courts do,” she mentioned.
“It should not be the case that now we have to have a documentary to ensure that the police to do their jobs, that is so miserable to me, however the truth that that is accomplished one thing for this case is promising I suppose.”
Regardless of the renewed give attention to abuse claims towards R Kelly, it seems it isn’t hurting his profession simply but.
Nielsen Music, a knowledge analytic firm within the US, says streaming numbers for his music have doubled because the documentary aired – ending its run on 6 January.
It calculated that R Kelly averaged greater than 955,600 streams within the final week of 2018. He averaged greater than 1.5 million streams from three to six January.
R Kelly can also be as a result of play a live performance on the MHP area in Ludwigsburg, Germany in April.
On Thursday, the singer’s duet with Woman Gaga, Do You Need Me, was within the high 15 of the US iTunes Shops’ high songs listing – which ranks the most-purchased songs of the second.
The track has since been removed from the likes of Apple Music and Spotify and is unavailable for buy on Amazon Music.
In 2008, the singer was found not guilty of 14 counts of child pornography following a trial within the US and has not confronted any additional legal prices since.
Chris Cooke, enterprise editor of music trade information service Full Music Replace, says it is “onerous to know” whether or not these newest allegations may have a long-lasting affect on R Kelly’s profession.
“These tales have been following him for such a very long time… it isn’t like these are new revelations to anybody actually.
“Nevertheless it has gone so massive throughout the information networks and the social feeds and we’re beginning to see individuals within the music group, who prior to now have tended to not remark, popping out.
“It does appear to be there is a larger response throughout the music group which might have an effect.”