Report: R. Kelly Has Recorded New Album, Searching for Distributor
R. Kelly has recorded a new album and is searching for a distributor to “release it imminently,” Billboard reports. The news follows an earlier report that Kelly’s longtime label, Sony Music’s RCA, will not release any of the singer’s future projects in the wake of Lifetime’s documentary Surviving R. Kelly, which detailed the singer’s alleged sexual misconduct. Universal Music Publishing Group, which still owns Kelly’s catalog, has also cut ties with the singer’s future output.
One source tells Billboard that Kelly’s team has been searching for a new distributor for months. The publication cites other sources to report, “It’s possible the release won’t hit the market as soon as hoped,” suggesting Kelly may be struggling to find a willing distribution partner. A representative for Spotify said Kelly won’t be able to directly release his work on the platform through its direct-upload feature, which is currently in beta mode.
Since Surviving R. Kelly’s release, several artists have removed Kelly collaborations from streaming services, including Lady Gaga, Chance the Rapper, and Celine Dion. The documentary also prompted prosecutors in Georgia and Illinois to seek information about Kelly’s alleged abuse, as well as Chicago officials to inspect the singer’s recording studio, where they found dozens of violations, including evidence that the warehouse was being used as a residence.