Kim Kizyma
Graphic Designer + Creative Technologist

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Dropped from his label

‘Variety’ & ‘Billboard’ report that Kelly is no longer with his longtime record label.

After mounting tensions following the release of Lifetime’s Surviving R. Kellydocumentary, Sony Music and R. Kelly have decided to part ways. According to reports from Billboard and Variety, the label will be dissolving its working relationship with the disgraced R&B singer, although RCA Records/Sony Music will continue to be the home for his extensive back catalog of music. Kelly’s likeness has been removed from RCA’s website.

Kelly signed to Jive Records at the beginning of his career in the 1990s, and remained with the label ever since. In 2011, Jive was folded into RCA Records, bringing Kelly along.

The #MuteRKelly movement, which grew in the wake of BuzzFeed’s explosive 2017 reporting about Kelly keeping young women in what was described as a “sex cult,” has been leading the charge to get the artist dropped from his label. Lifetime’s Surviving R. Kelly documentary series has proven to be the tipping point, with artists like Lady GagaChance the RapperOmarion, and Céline Diondistancing themselves from their past work with Kelly.

Kelly’s last album was 2016’s R. Kelly Christmas. Since then, he’s put out a handful of tracks, including the rambling, semi-confessional “I Admit,” as well as “Born to My Music” at the top of 2019.

Claims of Kelly having sexual relationships with underage women have been around since the mid-‘90s. He infamously wed a then-15-year-old Aaliyah in 1994, and was tried (and acquitted) in 2008 on child porn charges after a tape of Kelly allegedly having sex with a 14-year-old girl was delivered anonymously to The Chicago Sun-Times (Genius).

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