A number of prominent artists are seeking to follow Lady Gaga’s lead by removing their collaborations with R. Kelly from streaming services. Past Kelly collaborations with Chance the Rapper (Somewhere in Paradise, 2015), and Celine Dion (“I’m Your Angel,” 1998) are in the process if being removed.
The collaborations followed years of Kelly being dogged by sexual abuse allegations. The only noticeable difference that is forcing artists to act is the recent Lifetime documentary, “Surviving R. Kelly,” which has dramatically shifted the public’s opinion against the singer.
For some artists, their hands may be tied in making a move to remove collaborations with Kelly because the lead artist is a determining factor in whether a song can be removed. In the case of Dion and Chance, they were both credited as the primary artist and have the power to remove the songs. In cases where there were joint features, such as the Jay-Z “Best of Both Worlds” collaborative album, Kelly would need to sign off in order for the songs to be removed. That appears highly unlikely.
In a sign of solidarity, Ciara has also taken steps with Sony music to see if she can have her collaborations with Kelly removed, which include 2004’s “Next to You” and 2006’s “Promise.”