While R. Kelly’s record label is under pressure to drop their relationship with the singer, the label is merely placing new music from him “on hold,” in the wake of the popular Surviving R. Kelly documentary.
According to a TMZ report Monday, which cited “sources familiar with R. Kelly’s contract and dealings with RCA/Sony,” RCA Records will not be producing any new music by the singer for now, although the label has not moved to drop the singer completely.
RCA, the report said, “will not produce any of the singer’s new music, it will not put money behind any of his projects, and it will not release any additional music” by the singer until the completion of the criminal probes that have launched in the wake of the Lifetime documentary. One investigation has been launched in Georgia, while officials in Illinois have asked for victims to come forward.
Kelly is said to have two more albums left on his contract with the label and has been in the studio working on them, per the report. Kelly is “pissed” at the situation, TMZ said. An airplane banner pushing RCA/Sony to drop “sexual predator R. Kelly” was flown above the label’s offices last week, which can be seen on Twitter.
The widely viewed Surviving R. Kelly documentary, which aired in six parts on Lifetime earlier this month, detailed Kelly’s extensive history of being accused of sexual misconduct, including violence and sexual contact with underage girls. The documentary features several of Kelly’s accusers telling their stories on camera, as well as extensive coverage of both the singer’s marriage to Aaliyah when she was underage and the criminal case against Kelly that ended in acquittal in 2008.
R. Kelly's Record Label RCA Releasing No New Music in Wake of 'Surviving' Documentary https://t.co/42oZyycn6e
— TMZ (@TMZ) January 14, 2019
The TMZ story notes that if the label dropped R. Kelly, he may have grounds to sue them for breach of contract.
It’s been noted often in the media, including by Spin magazine last year, that TMZ has had a close relationship with Kelly over the years, often running positive stories about the singer and allowing him to plant positively-spun news at times when allegations against him were in the news.
Last week, the gossip site ran a story featuring three women who are alleged in the documentary to be part of Kelly’s “sex cult” cheering for him from the front row at a 2016 concert, although it did ask the question “Free Will or Stockholm Syndrome?” Later, TMZ reported that Kelly had been suffering panic attacks around the time the Lifetime documentary aired