YouTube has taken down R. Kelly’s official channels after the singer was convicted of sex trafficking last month.
The RKellyTV and RKellyVevo channels no longer exist and Kelly will not be allowed to create or own any other channel on the platform, as Reuters first reported.
“We can confirm that we have terminated two channels linked to R. Kelly in accordance with our creator responsibility guidelines,” YouTube told Engadget in a statement.
If the owner of a channel is convicted of or pleads guilty to a serious crime, YouTube might delete the channel if it’s closely related to the crime in question.
In this case, according to YouTube, prosecutors claimed that Kelly used the fame and power he accrued in the music industry to exploit women and underage girls.
However, this isn’t a blanket ban. Kelly’s music will still be available on YouTube Music. Kelly videos that other users have uploaded to YouTube before now will remain, as they aren’t considered reuploads.
The responsibility guidelines are only enforced on channels that are connected to the creator.
Two women started a campaign in 2017 to have Kelly’s music removed from streaming services and radio. Accusations about have been made against Kelly for decades.
He was arrested in 2002 for depicting making videos containing sexual abuse of a child, but the jury in that case found him not guilty after it wasn’t proven the girl on the tapes was a minor.
Kelly’s sentencing hearing will take place in May. The mandatory minimum sentence is 10 years in prison, though he faces up to life behind bars.
The MuteRKelly campaign, founded by two Black women in 2017 to try to remove the singer’s music from the air waves, said on Twitter https://twitter.com/OffMuteRKelly/status/1445570932089626636, “Waiting on you @youtubemusic, and you too @Spotify @AppleMusic @AmazonMusic, etc.”
Contacted outside of regular U.S. business hours, Spotify, Apple and Amazon did not immediately respond to requests from Reuters seeking comment on whether they would be taking similar action over R Kelly’s music available on their platforms.
Kelly’s music has largely disappeared from radio but is still available on streaming platforms. His hit record “I Believe I Can Fly” was for years a popular choice at graduation ceremonies.