YouTube Removes R. Kelly Channels
Last week, a federal jury in New York found R. Kelly guilty of racketeering and eight counts of sex trafficking. Kelly is also facing separate charges in Illinois and Minnesota. Kelly won’t be sentenced until May, but he’s currently looking at a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison, and he could receive a life sentence. As a result, YouTube has removed Kelly’s two channels, RKellyTV and RKellyVevo, and he won’t be able to create or own any future YouTube accounts.
As Reuters reports, a YouTube spokesman says, “We can confirm that we have terminated two channels linked to R. Kelly in accordance with our creator responsibility guidelines.” Bloomberg reports that Nicole Alston, YouTube’s head of legal, has written a memo, saying, “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.”
R. Kelly’s music, however, has not disappeared from YouTube. Kelly’s music is still available on YouTube Music, YouTube’s premium streaming service, and it’s also still up on other streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music. Also, Kelly-related music posted by other YouTube users is still up on the platform. Digital Music News reports that Kelly’s music actually experienced a spike in streaming last year, and several of his songs are popular on TikTok, where stars like Charli D’Amelio and Addison Rae have featured them.