R&B singer R. Kelly’s two YouTube channels have been removed after he was found guilty of some sex crimes last week.
In a statement, YouTube said that two of the singer’s channels, RKellyTV and RKellyVevo, had been removed and that he would no longer be able to create or own any other YouTube channels.
His music catalogue will remain available on YouTube Music, YouTube’s audio-streaming service and videos uploaded by other YouTube users will remain accessible. In a statement, a YouTube spokesperson told Reuters:
“We can confirm that we have terminated two channels linked to R. Kelly by our creator responsibility guidelines.”
Nicole Alston, YouTube’s VP of legal, also wrote in a memo:
“Egregious actions committed by R. Kelly warrant penalties beyond standard enforcement measures due to a potential to cause widespread harm.
“Ultimately we are taking this action to protect our users similar to other platforms.”
Following decades of women coming forward to accuse him of sex crimes, Kelly was found guilty on September 27 in federal court in New York of leading a scheme to recruit women and girls for sex.
Kelly’s music has largely vanished from radio, but it is still available on streaming services. For many years, his hit song “I Believe I Can Fly” was a popular choice at graduation ceremonies. At his sentencing on May 4, 2022, he faces a mandatory minimum of ten years in prison and the possibility of life in prison.
After months of criticism, Kelly’s longtime label, Sony Music’s RCA Records, parted ways with her in January 2019. However, almost all of his catalogue remains with the label and is still available on major music streaming services.
Following Kelly’s conviction, 44 per cent of audio-streaming service users said platforms like Spotify and Apple Music should remove his music from their catalogues, 36 per cent said his songs should remain, and 20 per cent had no opinion or said they didn’t know, according to a Morning Consult survey.