All the Artists Who’ve Denounced R. Kelly

In the wake of Lifetime’s bombshell doc Surviving R. Kelly that outlines years of Kelly’s alleged abuse, the movement to mute the embattled singer has never been stronger.

For the first time, both his peers and collaborators are taking a moral stance against the Pied Piper of R&B, some going so far as to apologize for working with R. Kelly and erasing their work with him from digital existence. Others have come forward with stories of how Kelly’s alleged behavior has long been an industrywide open secret. From Lady Gaga to John Legend to Jada Pinkett Smith, these are the artists who’ve denounced R. Kelly.


Lady Gaga
“Do What U Want (With My Body)” (2013)
On January 10, Gaga released a statement apologizing for her past work with Kelly and became the first to announce that she intended to remove a collaboration with Kelly from streaming services. “I stand behind these women 1000%, believe them, know they are suffering and in pain, and feel strongly that their voices should be heard and taken seriously,” she wrote. “I think it’s clear how explicitly twisted my thinking was at the time,” she wrote of the song, referencing her own sexual assault at the age of 19. “If I could go back and have a talk with my younger self I’d tell her to go through the therapy I have since then.” Less than a day later, the single from her 2013 album Artpop was pulled.

Chance the Rapper
“Somewhere in Paradise” (2015)
After an audio clip of Chance the Rapper saying that working with Kelly was a “mistake” appeared in the Surviving R. Kelly series, Chance said that the quote was taken out of context but apologized to survivors in a statement on Twitter. “[T]he truth is any of us who ever ignored the R. Kelly stories, or ever believed he was being setup/attacked by the system (as black men often are) were doing so at the detriment of black women and girls,” he wrote. “I apologize to all of his survivors for working with him and for taking this long to speak out.” By January 14, “Somewhere in Paradise,” featuring and co-written by R. Kelly, was no longer available to stream.

Céline Dion
“I’m Your Angel” (1998)
Dion has not commented publicly on the allegations against Kelly, but TMZ reported on January 14 that her team was in the process of removing the 1998 duet. Produced and written by R. Kelly, the song was nominated for a Grammy and spent six weeks on Billboard’s Hot 100. As of publication, its video has been removed from YouTube, though the song remains on streaming.

“Promise (Go and Get Your Tickets Mix)” (2006)
Ciara has also not commented on Kelly, but TMZ reported on January 14 that Ciara’s team is requesting that Sony remove their song, from her 2006 album The Evolution, from streaming and iTunes. Coincidentally, Sony is Kelly’s parent record label, and it has not commented on Kelly’s legal issues or his future at the label. Reports say Sony has, however, stonewalled Kelly from releasing any new music on its RCA imprint and is weighing its options for voiding his contract.

Pussycat Dolls
“Out of This Club” (2008)
TMZ reported on January 15 that the Pussycat Dolls have asked their label Interscope to pull their Kelly collab from streaming, though the former group has yet to comment on the allegations.

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All the Artists Who’ve Denounced R. Kelly

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