Following Spotify’s recent announcement, Apple Music and Pandora have also decided to stop promoting R. Kelly.
Now, a source close to the matter tells Pitchfork that Apple Music also begun to stop promoting R. Kelly in featured playlists over the past several weeks. The decision was made quietly, and it pre-dates Spotify’s announcement. Kelly’s music has been pulled from Apple Music-curated playlists such as “Best Slow Jams of the 90s, Vol. 1” and Vol. 2. (Kelly is prominently featured in the artwork for the playlists, but his music is no longer in them.) Seven R. Kelly-centric playlists (including “R. Kelly Essentials,” “R. Kelly: Influences,” and “Inspired by R. Kelly”) are still on the streaming service.
XXXTentacion, who was also pulled from Spotify playlists under the new policy, is still being promoted by Apple. His song “changes” is the first song on the “Tearjerkers” playlist and “SAD!” appears on the #OnRepeat playlist (“the newest R&B and hip-hop tracks we’re obsessed with.”)
Pandora has also ceased promotion of R. Kelly on their service, according to a report by the Blast. When reached for comment, a representative for Pandora provided the following statement to Pitchfork:
“Pandora’s policy is to not actively promote artists with certain demonstrable behavioral, ethical or criminal issues. We approach each of these scenarios on a case–by–case basis to ensure we address components true to Pandora’s principles while not overreaching and avoiding censorship.”
Two weeks ago, Women of Color of Time’s Up joined the #MuteRKelly campaign and issued an open letter in which they called upon multiple companies—including RCA Records, Ticketmaster, Spotify, and Apple Music—to cut ties with Kelly in the wake of recent allegations of physical and sexual abuse levied against him.