STOCKHOLM, Sweden (CelebrityAccess) — On Thursday, streaming music giant Spotify announced plans to remove controversial R&B artist R. Kelly’s music from its curated and algorithmically generated playlists, such as RapCaviar and Discover Weekly.
R. Kelly’s music will still be available to listen to on Spotify, but will no longer be actively promoted, Spotify said in a statement to Billboard. The company’s decision to not feature R. Kelly’s music coincides with the announcement of a new policy on “hate content” from the streaming service.
“When we are alerted to content that violates our policy, we may remove it (in consultation with rights holders) or refrain from promoting or playlisting it on our service. It’s important to us that our values are reflected in all the work that we do, whether it’s distribution, promotion, or content creation,” Spotify wrote in a blog post announcing its new policy.
Spotify’s decision to pull R. Kelly’s music from its playlists comes amid accusations of sexual assault and coercion from multiple women. The singer has vehemently denied the allegations and compared the charges to a lynching.
“R. Kelly supports the pro-women goals of the Time’s Up movement. We understand criticizing a famous artist is a good way to draw attention to those goals — and in this case, it is unjust and off-target,” a representative for Kelly told Buzzfeed “(It’s an) attempted public lynching of a black man who has made extraordinary contributions to our culture.”
A representative for Spotify told the New York Times that they were also removing chart-topping rapper and singer XXXTentacion from their playlists as well. XXXTentacion is facing multiple charges in Florida, including for the alleged aggravated battery of a pregnant woman. XXXTentacion was featured on the RapCaviar playlist as recently as Wednesday.