Sony and R. Kelly Have Reportedly Parted Ways
According to new reports citing sources close to the label, Sony Music has parted with R. Kelly. Billboard broke the story, though, as of publication time, neither the singer’s camp nor the label has confirmed the rumors. The news comes amid a new wave of scrutiny against the musician following the broadcast of Lifetime’s six-hour docuseries, Surviving R. Kelly. The series details decades of abuse allegations levied by scores of young women against Kelly, which he continues to vigorously deny.
Kelly was initially signed to Jive in the early 1990s, and when Jive became part of Sony BMG, he became part of the Sony umbrella. In 2012 he moved to RCA, a Sony subsidiary.
After the debut of the Lifetime documentary in early January, calls for justice against Kelly began anew, with the #MuteRKelly campaign gaining traction for a second time since last spring. Earlier this week, fans of singer Aaliyah celebrated what would have been the singer’s 40th birthday by publicly demanding that RCA Records drop Kelly from its roster. The documentary reasserts the longstanding claim that Kelly, then 27, had documents forged to raise Aaliyah’s age from 15 to 18 so that they could marry. Kelly has long denied that he was ever married to Aaliyah and maintains the two were only ever good friends.
On January 8, authorities in Georgia reportedly opened an investigation into the singer, with TMZ reporting that investigators have been in contact with one of the women who appeared in the documentary, Asante McGee. McGee has described, on several occasions, the life she lived with Kelly in his home in Georgia, where, she alleges, he abused her and several other women — some of whom she claims were as young as 17.
Though Kelly maintains his innocence, TMZ also reported last week that his team had set up a website called Surviving Lies, in an attempt to address the accusations against him by women like McGee. Although the domain name was purchased, there has been no information provided on the site.
(Photo by Mike Pont/Getty Images)
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