May 10, 2018 04:00 PM

Amid mounting sexual assault accusations, Spotify is taking a stand against R. Kelly.

As part of the streaming service’s new public hate content and hateful conduct policy, starting on Thursday, Spotify will remove the R&B singer’s songs from all official playlists.

We are removing R. Kelly’s music from all Spotify owned and operated playlists and algorithmic recommendations such as Discover Weekly,” Spotify told Billboard in a statement.

“His music will still be available on the service, but Spotify will not actively promote it,” Spotify continued, adding that while they “don’t censor content because of an artist’s or creator’s behavior…we want our editorial decisions — what we choose to program — to reflect our values.”

R. Kelly’s management responded to the decision in a statement, telling PEOPLE in part, “R. Kelly never has been accused of hate, and the lyrics he writes express love and desire. Mr. Kelly for 30 years has sung songs about his love and passion for women. He is innocent of the false and hurtful accusations in the ongoing smear campaign against him, waged by enemies seeking a payoff. He never has been convicted of a crime, nor does he have any pending criminal charges against him.”

The statement continues, “Spotify promotes numerous other artists who are convicted felons, others who have been arrested on charges of domestic violence and artists who sing lyrics that are violent and anti-women in nature. Mr. Kelly falls into none of these categories, and it is unfortunate and shortsighted that Spotify fails to recognize this.”

R. Kelly
Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic

RELATED: R. Kelly Accuser Claims Singer Physically Abused Her After She Recognized Woman from Sex Tape

Spotify has also removed XXXtentacion’s music from its playlists as part of their new policy. A rep for the rapper then reached out to Billboard, inquiring as to whether other artists with allegations of domestic and sexual violence against them would also be removed from the streaming service.

The rapper, 20, was arrested in October 2016 and originally charged with aggravated battery of a pregnant woman, domestic battery by strangulation, false imprisonment, and witness-tampering, according to Pitchfork. Last December, he received seven new felony charges including charges of witness tampering and witness harassment, according to jail records obtained by PEOPLE.

RELATED: R. Kelly Reportedly Claims Accusations ‘Destroy My Legacy’ as Two More Women Come Forward with Allegations

While accusations of sexual misconduct have followed Kelly, 51, for years, Spotify’s decision comes a week after Time’s Up announced it would be lending its support to the #MuteRKelly campaign.

In a statement, Time’s Up’s Women of Color subcommittee called on several corporations and venues to consider joining them including RCA Records — Kelly’s label — as well as Ticketmaster, Spotify and Apple Music.

Shortly after Time’s Up issued their statement, representatives for R. Kelly claimed that the mounting sexual assault accusations against the singer are “put forth by instigators and liars who have their own agenda for seeking profit and fame.”

That same day, Buzzfeed’s Jim DeRogatis, who has been investigating Kelly for years, published a follow-up to his bombshell report last summer outlining what has been called a sex “cult” populated by Kelly’s female companions.

RELATED: R. Kelly Accuser Claims Singer Physically Abused Her After She Recognized Woman from Sex Tape

Additionally, Kelly’s former ex-girlfriends Kitti Jones and Asante McGee have spoken out against the alleged abuse by the singer’s hand. In late March, Jones also claimed she was “physically, mentally, verbally, and sexually” abused by Kelly in a BBC Three documentary.

You May Like