October 11, 2021

YouTube drops official channels for R&B singer R. Kelly

By Jahnavi Nidumulu and Aakriti Bhalla

October 5 (Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s YouTube said it removed R&B singer R. Kelly’s channels from its video platform, distancing itself from the singer who was convicted of sex trafficking last month.

R. Kelly was convicted by a federal jury in September in his sex trafficking trial, where prosecutors accused the singer of exploiting his stardom for a quarter of a century to lure underage women and girls into his orbit at sexual purposes.

Two of his channels, RKellyTV and RKellyVevo, have been removed from one of the world’s largest video platforms and the singer will no longer be able to create or own any other YouTube channels, YouTube said in a statement sent Monday evening, following from Reuters. request for comment.

His music catalog will, however, be available on YouTube Music, YouTube’s audio streaming service, and videos uploaded by other YouTube users will continue to be available.

“We can confirm that we have terminated two channels linked to R. Kelly in accordance with our creator liability guidelines,” a YouTube spokesperson told Reuters in a statement.

The MuteRKelly campaign, founded by two black women in 2017 to try to get the singer’s music off the airwaves, said on Twitter https://twitter.com/OffMuteRKelly/status/1445570932089626636, “We’re waiting for you @youtubemusic, and you also @Spotify @AppleMusic @AmazonMusic, etc. “

When contacted outside normal U.S. business hours, Spotify, Apple and Amazon did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment on whether they would take similar action regarding available R Kelly music. on their platforms.

Kelly’s music has largely disappeared from the radio but is still available on streaming platforms. His hit record “I Believe I Can Fly” was for years a popular choice at graduation ceremonies.

Kelly faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years behind bars and could face life in prison upon his conviction on May 4, 2022.

The singer, whose full name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, is one of the most prominent people on trial on sexual charges during the #MeToo movement, which has amplified the accusations that have haunted him since the early 2000s. Jahnavi Nidumalu and Aakriti Bhalla in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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