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YouTube drops R&B singer R. Kelly’s official channels By Reuters


© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: YouTube logo seen at YouTube Space LA, Playa Del Rey Los Angeles California United States, October 21, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Aakriti Bhalla and Jahnavi Ndumolu

(Reuters) – Alphabet (NASDAQ:) Inc’s YouTube said it has removed R&B singer R. Kelly’s channels from its video platform, distancing itself from the singer who was convicted of sex trafficking last month.

In September, R. Kelly was convicted of sex trafficking by a federal jury. Prosecutors accused Kelly of using his celebrity for over a quarter century to attract women and girls under the age of 18 into his orbit.

RKellyTV was removed as one of the most popular video sites in the world. RKellyVevo is no longer able to own or create any YouTube channel. YouTube sent a statement late Monday following Reuters’ inquiry.

YouTube Music will still have his entire music catalog. YouTube Music will also continue to host videos from other YouTube users.

A YouTube spokesperson stated to Reuters that they could confirm the termination of two channels related to R. Kelly, in compliance with our creator accountability guidelines.

The MuteRKelly campaign, founded by two Black women in 2017 to try to remove the singer’s music from the air waves, said on Twitter (NYSE:), “Waiting on you @youtubemusic, and you too @Spotify @AppleMusic @AmazonMusic, etc.”

Contacted out of normal U.S. office hours, Spotify (NYSE), Apple (NASDAQ) and Amazon (NASDAQ) didn’t immediately reply to Reuters requests for comment about whether or not they will take similar actions over R Kelly’s music.

Although Kelly’s music is no longer on radio, it can still be streamed via streaming services. For years, his hit single “I Believe I Can Fly”, enjoyed great popularity at graduation ceremonies.

Kelly is subject to a minimum 10 year sentence and could be sentencing in May 2022.

Robert Sylvester Kelly (full name) is the star of “MeToo”, which amplified the sexual accusations against Kelly that had been haunting him since the 2000s.

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