R. Kelly and longtime label Sony Music have “agreed to part ways,” sources tell Billboard. The label has no plans to announce the news to the public, per Variety, though the split marks a critical blow to what’s left of Kelly’s career after allegations of sexual misconduct stretching back nearly 25 years.
Sony’s decision to drop Kelly from its RCA label comes on the heels of Lifetime’s influential series Surviving R. Kelly, which documents numerous allegations of sexual and emotional abuse and has helped to galvanize a new wave of protests in the ongoing #MuteRKelly movement. On Wednesday (January 16), demonstrators protested outside of Sony’s New York City 0ffice. Last week, women’s rights group UltraViolet flew an airplane banner reading “RCA/Sony: Drop Sexual Predator R Kelly” over Sony’s offices in Los Angeles.
In recent days, several artists have distanced themselves from past collaborations with Kelly by removing the songs from streaming platforms. An emergency building inspection at Kelly’s Chicago recording studio this week reportedly found multiple code violations, including evidence the property was being used as residence, as some women have alleged. Today, Kelly’s former manager reportedly turned himself in on terrorism charges for allegedly threatening the family of one of the women believed to be living with Kelly.
Read our complete timeline of R. Kelly’s alleged sexual misconduct here.