Apple Music and Pandora join #MuteRKelly campaign

Written by Poppy Reid on 14th May, 2018
Apple Music and Pandora join #MuteRKelly campaign

Following the removal of R. Kelly’s music from Spotify’s “editorial or algorithmic playlists on its service” under a new policy, two more streaming services have decided to stop promoting his works.

“A source close to the matter” told Pitchfork that Apple Music has “begun to stop promoting R. Kelly in featured playlists over the past several weeks.”

According to Pitchfork, Apple Music’s move to pull R. Kelly’s tracks from its curated playlists actually pre-dates Spotify’s announcement. His catalogue no longer sits on playlists such as Best Slow Jams of the 90s, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, however the service still hosts his music on R. Kelly-influenced playlists like R. Kelly Essentials, R. Kelly: Influences, and Inspired by R. Kelly, which are not Apple Music-curated.

According to Blast, Pandora has also ceased promotion of R. Kelly following widespread, credible claims that Kelly held women against their will in an abusive sex cult.

In a statement released to Pitchfork, Pandora said:


“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.”

Many critics have come forward to question Spotify since the announcement of its policy regarding “Hate Content and Hateful Content”. Some suggest Spotify should embark on a removal spree of acts like David Bowie, Elvis and Mick Jagger, who were all accused of similar crimes as R. Kelly.


While it may seem as though streaming services have formed a united front against sexual predators, their actions are anything but streamlined. XXXTentacion – who was pulled from Spotify playlists under the new policy after being embroiled in a graphic domestic violence case since last year – is still being promoted by Apple Music.

The move to block known sexual offenders follows the #MuteRKelly Twitter campaign, and a statement by Women of Color of Time’s Up, which “aims to organise around issues that are especially important to women and girls of colour”.

#mutekelly sign by WOC time's up

The collective publicly called out R. Kelly earlier this month demanding investigations into abuse allegations and the ostracising of the artist by any company with ties to him, including his label RCA Records and ticketing corporation Ticketmaster.

Read a statement by Women of Color of Time’s Up detailing the abuse allegations here.

The article was originally published on The Industry Observer

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