YouTube has shut down R. Kelly’s official video channels on its website, the first major step in removing R & B’s music from the Internet after he was convicted of sex trafficking and cheating last week.
The RKellyTV and RKellyVevo channels are closed, showing an error page, and the artist cannot use or create additional channels. However, according to Google’s proprietary site, videos of Kelly’s songs uploaded by YouTube users can be found.
YouTube, the world’s largest video site and a highly influential platform in the music industry, fears that Kelly’s move could damage trust between the company’s users and producers.
A New York jury has convicted Kelly of sex trafficking and rape, including child sexual abuse. He faces a minimum of 10 years in prison.
Kelly was one of the most commercially successful artists of the 1990s and 2000s, with hits such as “Ignition” and “I Believe I Can Fly”. He has sold over 40 million albums.
The verdict of the 5-year-old offender is considered the most high-profile offender in the history of modern music, which sheds uncomfortable light on the practice of the art, largely ignoring the lawsuits and allegations of abuse of the 1 largely.
After Kelly was arrested in 2003 on charges of child pornography, Barry Weiss, chief executive of his label Jeeves from 1991 to 2011, told The New York Times: And Kelly has to be Kelly.
Weiss told the Financial Times last week that when he made the remarks, he had “no idea what reprehensible behavior was going on.”
Kelly had already virtually disappeared from radio stations and was dropped by Sony and Universal Record Labels, after BuzzFeed reported that he kept young women in a “culture-like” environment. Kelly’s monthly audience on the audio streaming service Spotify dropped from 8.3 meters in 2018 to 4.9 meters last week, according to chartmetric data.
However, when FT asked last week if they would take any steps to remove Kelly’s music, Amazon, Universal Music and Sony Music declined to comment, while Spotify and YouTube declined to comment.
In 2018, Spotify briefly removed Kelly’s music from its powerful playlist, but reversed the policy just weeks later, saying at the time: “We don’t want to judge and jury.”