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R. Kelly Responds to Spotify’s Playlist Ban on His Music

R/ Kelly has responded through a representative to Spotify’s announcement this morning that it is removing the singer’s music from its editorial and algorithmic playlists as part of its updated policy toward hate content and hateful conduct. “When an artist or creator does something that is especially harmful or hateful (for example, violence against children and sexual violence), it may affect the ways we work with or support that artist or creator,” Spotify’s announcement reads in part.

In a statement, Spotify said: “We are removing R. Kelly’s music from all Spotify owned and operated playlists and algorithmic recommendations such as Discover Weekly. His music will still be available on the service, but Spotify will not actively promote it. We don’t censor content because of an artist’s or creator’s behavior, but we want our editorial decisions – what we choose to program – to reflect our values. When an artist or creator does something that is especially harmful or hateful, it may affect the ways we work with or support that artist or creator.”

In response, a rep for Kelly said in a statement:

“We appreciate Spotify for continuing to make R. Kelly’s songs accessible to millions of people, although it will stop listing his songs on its official playlists. Spotify is adopting a new ‘Hate Content & Hateful Conduct’ policy.  R Kelly never has been accused of hate, and the lyrics he writes express love and desire.

“Mr. Kelly for 30 years has sung songs about his love and passion for women.  He is innocent of the false and hurtful accusations in the ongoing smear campaign against him, waged by enemies seeking a payoff.  He never has been convicted of a crime, nor does he have any pending criminal charges against him.

“Spotify has the right to promote whatever music it chooses, and in this case its actions are without merit. It is acting based on false and unproven allegations. It is bowing to social-media fads and picking sides in a fame-seeking dispute over matters that have nothing to do with serving customers.

“Meanwhile, though, Spotify promotes numerous other artists who are convicted felons, others who have been arrested on charges of domestic violence and artists who sing lyrics that are violent and anti-women in nature.

“Mr. Kelly falls into none of these categories, and it is unfortunate and shortsighted that Spotify fails to recognize this.”

XXXTentacion, the only other artist thus far to have music removed from the platform’s playlists since this morning’s announcement, questioned the company’s decision today as well.

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