Here's What's Happened Since Surviving R. Kelly
Lifetime's six-part series, Surviving R. Kelly, has brought the controversial artist's past back into the spotlight. Though rumors of his misdeeds have been swirling for decades the docu-series has reignited an interest in finding out exactly what happened. Since the series debuted on January 3, more and more artists have spoken out against Kelly and companies associated with him have taken a stand in the wake of the #MuteRKelly campaign. Here's everything that's happened since Surviving R. Kelly and what many of the people involved hope will come now that Kelly's actions are being investigated.
The first company to see an effect was Spotify. According to The Blast, the artist's songs saw a spike in streaming after Surviving R. Kelly. In May 2018, Spotify said that it would remove Kelly from all official playlists, but later added him back after criticism of regulation.
John Legend appeared on the show, acknowledging his huge success with songs like "I Believe I Can Fly." While Legend said that Kelly's music has inspired many people, it didn't justify all of his other actions. "R. Kelly has brought so much pain to so many people. Time's up for R. Kelly."
The Cut reports that on January 8, an official investigation against Kelly was opened in Georgia. The Fulton County District Attorney's Office contacted the women that appeared on the show. Soon after, more women came forward in Chicago, stating that they'd survived similar abuse to that described in the show.
On January 9, Lady Gaga released a statement and pulled her 2013 collab with Kelly, "Do What U Want (With My Body)," from all streaming services. Chance the Rapper issued a statement just a few days prior.
During #MuteRKelly protests, Kelly appeared at a Chicago club. The same day, Kelly's lawyer threatened to sue Lifetime.
In a statement on her Instagram Story, Buku Abi, Kelly's estranged daughter, called her father a "monster."
"To the people who feel that I should be speaking up / against everything is going on right now," she wrote, "I just want you all to understand that devastated is an understatement for what I feel currently. I do apologize if my silence to all that is happening comes off as careless."
In the following week, Celine Dion stated that she was working to pull her collab with Kelly, "I'm Your Angel," from streaming services as well. The Pussycat Dolls followed suit, working to pull "Out of This Club" from the same services. The team in charge of organizing the Spring Break Jam concert had their permit denied. Officials stated "security concerns." Kelly was supposed to host the event. By this point, the group of accusers has grown to include intern Tracy Sampson, Faith Rodgers, Akeyla Van Allen, and Danielle Williams.
Though Kelly hasn't released a new album since his 2016 Christmas record, he has released material independently. Any future drops may be put o hold, even though Kelly promised fans that there was new material on the way. Today, Entertainment Tonight reported that Kelly has been dropped by his label, Sony. Prior to the controversy, he was under contract at RCA, one of Sony's subsidiaries. He's no longer listed on RCA's website.