R. Kelly’s decades of major label support has come to a stark ending. The disgraced R&B singer and Sony Music have agreed to part ways after significant pressure from consumers. According to Variety, his back catalog will remain with RCA/Sony. His last release on the label was 2016’s holiday album 12 Nights of Christmas.
Sources told TMZ that both sides agreed on a split this week. R. Kelly has witnessed immense backlash since the airing of Lifetime’s ‘Surviving R. Kelly’ docuseries. The state of Georgia has opened a criminal investigation into accusations made by several women, and the state of Illinois may do the same.
Kelly had been signed to Jive since the beginning of his career in the early 1990s, and when Jive became part of Sony BMG, he became part of the Sony umbrella. He has been under contract at RCA, a Sony subsidiary, since 2012.
Several artists including Celine Dion, Lady Gaga, Chance The Rapper, and Ciara have separated themselves from Kelly by pulling their collaborations from streaming services. Additionally, Many artists are turning down collaborations, and streaming and radio stations are choosing not to play his music.
Other artists have spoken out against Kelly including John Legend, Ne-Yo, Meek Mill, and Future.
Earlier this week, we reported that RCA had cut off funding for any new music from Kelly until things were resolved. He reportedly had two albums left in his contract and was in the studio recording new music to fulfill his obligations to RCA.
On Wednesday, members of more than half a dozen protest groups descended on Sony Music’s headquarters to demand the label drop R. Kelly. The protest included members of #MuteRKelly, Black Women’s Blueprint, Care2, Color of Change, CREDO, Girls for Gender Equity, NOW-NYC and UltraViolet.