In a statement to Billboard, Spotify said, "We are removing R. Kelly’s music from all Spotify owned and operated playlists and algorithmic recommendations such as Discover Weekly," Spotify told Billboard in a statement. "His music will still be available on the service, but Spotify will not actively promote it. We don’t censor content because of an artist’s or creator’s behavior, but we want our editorial decisions -- what we choose to program -- to reflect our values. When an artist or creator does something that is especially harmful or hateful, it may affect the ways we work with or support that artist or creator."
The move coincides with a growing chorus of critics joining in the #MuteRKelly social media campaign that has sought to stop his music from being played. Critics who accuse singer R. Kelly of sexual misconduct are threatening to stage a protest at his upcoming show in North Carolina if it isn't canceled.
R. Kelly's management responded by criticizing Spotify for removing the superstar's songs from its playlists and algorithmic recommendations.
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A statement sent to The Associated Press on Thursday says R. Kelly is innocent of allegations he sexually abused women over the years. He was acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008.
Kelly's team says that the artist has only promoted love in his music and says Spotify is acting on "false and unproven allegations" and notes that other artists on the service have been accused or convicted of crimes. It calls the decision "shortsighted."