Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

At long last, Sony Music parts ways with R. Kelly

Illustration for article titled At long last, Sony Music parts ways with R. Kelly
Photo: Jason Merritt (Getty Images)

Sony Music and its subsidiary label RCA Records have parted ways with R. Kelly and will no longer release any music from the R&B singer, Variety reports. It’s a move that Kelly’s critics have called for since he signed with RCA in 2012, and all it took to happen was a six-part docuseries, multiple lawsuits, numerous criminal investigations, an online campaign, years of investigative reporting, and a few decades worth of sexual misconduct allegations.

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Kelly’s predatory history contains multitudes, but it first hit the public’s radar in 1995 when a 27-year old Kelly reportedly married 15-year old pop singer Aaliyah, whose age was changed to 18 on the marriage license by one of Kelly’s cohorts. In 2000, Kelly went to court when a video surfaced of him having sex with an underage woman, but was cleared when the woman declined to testify against him. Last year, a bombshell BuzzFeed report alleged that Kelly was holding several women against their will in his Chicago and Georgia homes.

It appears the heated response to Lifetime’s six-part Surviving R. Kelly docuseries is what tipped Sony’s hand, though credit is also due to the plane that’s been flying over Sony Music’s headquarters this week. “RCA/Sony: Drop Sexual Predator R. Kelly,” read the banner hitched to its tail.

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Sony isn’t completely severing ties with Kelly, as his back catalog will remain under their ownership. His sales are on the rise, after all.

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.

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