News of the split arrived on Friday (January 18) from sources close to the industry outlet. While the label nor Kelly have commented about the split, the disgraced R&B singer has been removed from RCA's website. Kelly was signed to Jive Records in the early 90s before the label became part of Sony BMG and he transferred to the Sony umbrella. He's been under contract at RCA since 2012. Over at Variety, an insider said that "no external announcement of the move is planned in the immediate future." Nonetheless, it's worth noting that his back catalog, including his last release (2016's 12 Nights of Christmas) will remain with RCA/Sony.
This marks the latest in the #MuteRKelly movement after Lifetime put details of the singer's sexual misconduct on the frontlines with their six-part documentary, Surviving R. Kelly. Since the broadcast, the backlash has persisted with protesters taking to the Sony building in Manhattan on Wednesday. Additionally, a plane commissioned by the women's organization UltraViolet carrying a sign reading "RCA/Sony: Drop Sexual Predator R. Kelly" flew over Sony Music's Los Angeles offices. On the artist front, Lady Gaga, Change The Rapper, Celine Dion, Pussycat Dolls, Phoenix and more have either apologized for collaborating with the act or attempted to remove their team-ups from digital streaming services.
To make matters worse for the singer, Tracy Sampson, a former intern at Epic Records in 1999, recently stepped forward and alleged that the singer sexually abused her when she was a teenager. She opened up about her experience in a new on-camera interview with Dateline, which was previewed on Friday's morning's episode of The Today Show. The full interview will air in its entirety tonight on NBC.
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