Brow Beat

R. Kelly Has Been Dropped by RCA

R. Kelly outside a Cook County, Illinois, courthouse in 2008.
R. Kelly outside a Cook County, Illinois, courthouse in 2008.
Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

RCA Records has severed its relationship with R. Kelly, ending a 15-year relationship between the artist and the record company. Terms of the exit deal, including what if anything RCA paid Kelly to end his contract, have not been disclosed.

The news of the split comes after Dream Hampton’s damning Lifetime docu-series Surviving R. Kelly, which featured women who allegedly endured sexual and psychological abuse at the hands of the R&B singer. The series quickly led to a public outcry on social media that evolved into #MuteRKelly protests outside the Sony building in Manhattan.

While artists like John Legend agreed to take part in the series and Dave Chappelle has been calling out the singer in his comedy for years, many celebrities were forced to issue apologies for working with the star. In many cases, the collaborations happened after years of sexual allegations against him, his illegal marriage to a then-teenage Aaliyah when he was 27, and widely reported child pornography charges.

Kelly’s catalog will remain with RCA/Sony, and his music is still available via digital retailers and on streaming services. However, several radio stations have put a ban on his music.

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