R. Kelly’s label is joining the growing #MuteRKelly movement.
According to TMZ, RCA Records is putting any new music from the singer on hold in the wake of his sex abuse scandal. Sources familiar with Kelly’s contract with RCA/Sony claim that the label will not produce any of his new music and will not fund any projects.
In the wake of Lifetime’s “Surviving R. Kelly” docuseries and the criminal investigation in Georgia, no additional music from R. Kelly will be released until things have been resolved one way or another.
This hasn’t fared well with R. Kelly, who has apparently been in the studio recording new music to fulfill his obligations to RCA. He reportedly has two albums left in his contract and is upset that RCA/Sony won’t fund his projects.
RCA is in a tough position. Not only will the label have to deal with the PR fallout if they release any new music, they may also face a lawsuit from R. Kelly if they terminate the contract without any criminal charges to justify the decision.
There’s also the possibility that they will mutually agree to end their relationship. R. Kelly is reportedly “very unhappy,” and if RCA doesn’t support him, he wants out of his contract.
There have been several online petitions demanding that RCA and Live Nation drop Kelly. A petition on change.org asks that Apple Music, Spotify, and YouTube stop selling and streaming his music. It has received over 80,000 signatures.
In the meantime, Kelly has been releasing new music via SoundCloud, including this month’s “Born to My Music” and “I Admit,” a 19-minute confessional on which he addresses sexual misconduct allegations.
Kelly’s collaborators have also taken action. Lady Gaga removed their 2013 collaboration “Do What U Want (With My Body)” from streaming services, and Celine Dion is also in the process of pulling their 1998 hit “I’m Your Angel” from digital platforms.