R. Kelly and Sony Part Ways Following Lifetime Documentary and Outrage Against Singer: Report

After nearly three decades, R. Kelly and Sony have parted ways, according to a Billboard report released Friday. The music company and singer's decision to end their contract comes in light of the recent outrage sparked against Kelly following Lifetime's six-part docuseries, Surviving R. Kelly, which highlighted Kelly's alleged physical, mental and sexual abuse on women and girls throughout his career.

R. Kelly was signed to Sony back in the early 1990s. Initially he was under contract with Jive Records, which released his debut album, 12 Play, in 1993. Kelly signed a contract with RCA Records, a label under Sony, in 2012.

R Kelly has also now been removed from RCA's website, for those who keep track of those things https://t.co/CBb5PjUOhr

— Dan Rys (@danrys) January 18, 2019

While the #MuteRKelly campaign had been rallying against the R&B superstar since Buzzfeed's 2017 report, in which Kelly was accused of holding women against their will in his Atlanta and Chicago properties, protest efforts against the 52-year-old increased after Lifetime aired the docuseries over three nights in early January. The special included interviews of women claiming to have experienced Kelly's abuse firsthand, as well as former members of Kelly's inner circle attesting to Kelly's predatory behavior toward underage girls.

The docuseries additionally sparked a petition requesting RCA and Sony to drop Kelly from the label, launched by Color of Change, which received over 80,000 signatures.

Kelly may also be facing some legal trouble in regard to the docuseries. After it aired, investigators in Georgia reportedly contacted women and families of those accusing Kelly in the special, according to CNN.

Rumors of his sexual misconduct have plagued the singer from the very start of his successful career. In addition to marrying late singer Aaliyah Haughton when she was just 15 years old in 1994—he was 27, and the marriage was annulled shortly after—Kelly was indicted on child pornography charges after appearing in a 2002 video where it appeared he urinated on and had sex with a girl believed to 14 years old at the time. Kelly was not convicted for the crime following a not-guilty jury verdict.

Kelly maintains his innocence against all allegations against him.