Following the release of the Lifetime docuseries ‘Surviving R. Kelly,’ there has been severe backlash towards the artist as a result of several claims of sexual assault that were made, including many cases involving the sexual abuse of minors. Adding fuel to the fire, R. Kelly’s record label, RCA Records, has decided to put a hold on his music releases until after the issues are cleared up.
RCA, a label owned by Sony Music, will allegedly not be producing any new tracks or funding any projects for R. Kelly amid the serious accusations made towards the artist. The state of Georgia has opened a criminal investigation to explore the claims made in ‘Surviving R. Kelly,’ and the state of Illinois may possibly do the same. The series itself prompted a movement called “#MuteRKelly,” and though the record label has not revealed any plans to drop the artist from their label, producing his music may not be the best move for them from a PR standpoint.
Aside from the issues with his label, R. Kelly may have trouble producing the content for his remaining 2 albums on contract with RCA/Sony for other reasons. The movement has kept many artists from collaborating with him, and many radio and streaming services have opted out of playing his music.
It doesn’t help that many artists spoke out against Kelly in the documentary, including John Legend, Ne-Yo, Chance The Rapper, Meek Mill, Future, and Lady Gaga. Lady Gaga has even gone as far as to pull their 2013 collaboration “Do What U Want (With My Body)” from streaming services, and Celine Dione is in the process of doing the same with their 1998 track “I Am Your Angel.”
It is unclear how RCA and R. Kelly will choose to resolve this situation. They may mutually choose to end their contract or, depending on the terms of their agreement, either party may choose to take legal action on the grounds of a contract violation. Either way, it is unlikely that R. Kelly will ever be able to recuperate his reputation in the eyes of the public as a result of the serious allegations made in ‘Surviving R. Kelly.’