May 19, 2022

YouTube, owned by Alphabet Inc, announced that it had banned R&B singer R. Kelly’s channels from its video platform, distancing itself from the singer who was convicted last month of sex trafficking.

R. Kelly was convicted of sex trafficking in September by a federal jury. Prosecutors accused the singer of using his celebrity for more than a quarter-century to attract women and underage girls into his orbit for sex. continue reading

Two of his YouTube channels, RKellyTV and RKellyVevo, have been removed from one of the world’s major video platforms, and the singer will be unable to create or own any other channels, YouTube said late Monday in response to a Reuters request for comment.

His collection of music will remain available on YouTube Music, YouTube’s audio-streaming service, as well as videos produced by other YouTube users.

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

The MuteRKelly campaign, which was established in 2017 by two Black women to attempt to get the singer’s songs removed off the airwaves, stated on Twitter, “Waiting on you @youtubemusic, and you too @Spotify @AppleMusic @AmazonMusic, etc.”

When contacted, Spotify, Apple, and Amazon did not immediately answer to Reuters’ requests for comment on whether they would take comparable action against R Kelly’s music that was available on their platforms.

Kelly’s music has mainly been phased out of radio but remains available on streaming services. For many years, his chart-topping single “I Believe I Can Fly” was a popular choice for graduation ceremonies. Kelly faces a mandatory ten years minimum of jail time and a maximum of life in prison on his sentencing on May 4, 2022.

The singer, whose given name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, was one of the most renowned figures tried on sex charges during the #MeToo movement, which highlighted allegations against him dating all the way back to the early 2000s.