R. Kelly collaborators are dropping like flies.
After calling his collaboration with Kelly a “mistake,” Chance the Rapper has pulled "Somewhere in Paradise," his 2015 collaboration with the singer, from streaming services. Chance joins a handful of other artists disowning their work with Kelly, following the damning documentation of Kelly’s abuse in the Lifetime series Surviving R. Kelly.
Per TMZ, Kelly is dismissing the various fallouts, opting to focus on his legal case against Lifetime for airing the six-part docuseries. But as collaborations get tossed and artists continue denouncing Kelly as a predator, his life and legacy continue to exponentially unravel.
Not only are Kelly’s past achievements now colored with details of his sexual and emotional abuse of young and underage black women and girls, but his future releases have come to a halt. RCA/Sony has reportedly pulled all financial backing on future music, and investigators in Chicago and New York are pushing forward to bring charges against the singer. Radio stations have also cut back on R. Kelly's airplay, with the number of all-format radio impressions of his music dropping by nearly 85 percent since Surviving R. Kelly aired.
The docuseries and ongoing investigations not only highlight Kelly’s abuse, but put allegations against other artists under a magnifying glass. Chance used Twitter to call out his contemporaries accused of sexual misconduct.
It seems Kelly is finally joining the ranks of powerful predators like Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby, and his former collaborators are helping turn public opinion by denouncing their work. Here's a list of other musicians who have pulled their collaborations with Kelly. Bonus: They have Post Malone's approval.
Surviving R. Kelly aired right before award show season kicked off with the Golden Globes, putting Lady Gaga under an even brighter spotlight. While fans crossed their fingers hoping Gaga might snag a Globe or two for her role in A Star Is Born, they also waited for the singer to publicly denounce Kelly and her 2013 collaboration with the singer.
While Gaga declined to appear on the docuseries, she did eventually apologize for working with Kelly and pulled her 2013 track "Do What U Want" from streaming services.
Céline Dion, perhaps following in the footsteps of her pal Lady Gaga, decided to pull her R. Kelly collab “I’m Your Angel” on Monday, Jan. 14. The song was recorded back in 1998 and featured on her holiday album These Are Special Times. This wasn’t simply a sleepy seasonal jam. The song was No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for six weeks and went platinum with over 1.5 million copies sold. The video has also been scrubbed from YouTube.
You may be sensing a pattern here, in that many of the artists pulling their collabs with R. Kelly are women. Before we get to the men, Ciara is also in the process of having her collaboration with Kelly nixed. TMZ reports she requested that Sony take her 2006 collab “Promise (Go and Get Your Tickets Mix)” off streaming and iTunes.
Artists Who Are Still TBD
While a handful of musicians have pulled their R. Kelly collabs, others have apologized without making moves to delete the songs from streaming platforms. Nick Cannon shared a long Instagram post apologizing for turning a blind eye to Kelly’s abuse and his 2003 collab "Gigolo.” Phoenix and Omarion have also apologized, the latter promising to retire B2K’s collabs with Kelly following their tour, but it’s unclear what that retirement looks like.
And finally there are many more artists who have yet to acknowledge their work with Kelly, let alone make moves to denounce the singer. These include Diddy, Snoop Dogg, Justin Bieber, Fat Joe, Rick Ross, Usher, Mary J. Blidge, Chris Brown, Nas, Ty Dolla Sign, Mariah Carey, and JAY-Z.
Hov has come under intense scrutiny since Surviving R. Kelly aired, with Dame Dash publicly sharing his discomfort with Jay and Kelly’s past collaborations. They collaborated on two entire albums together—2002's The Best of Both Worlds and 2004's Unfinished Business—and fans are definitely waiting to hear from JAY about the ongoing controversy.