In the weeks following the release of Surviving R. Kelly on Lifetime, the rappers career has seen a dismal end. The six-installment television special documented survivors of the defamed artists long history as an alleged abuser. It originally premiered just weeks ago on the television network. R. Kelly has made headlines numerous times since then. His music has reappeared on the charts and then been removed from streaming platforms. He’s been dropped from his record label, Sony Music, countless other artists have spoken against him. Now, more victims are coming forward on shows like Dateline as the rapper is finally being investigated for his alleged crimes.
RCA, an offshoot of Sony Music, quietly dropped R. Kelly this week when it was noticed that he was removed from a list of clients on their website. The record label will apparently not make any external comments about their decision to drop the artist. Because of the allegations that were brought to light in Surviving R. Kelly, it puts the label in a tight spot legally. They had to be careful not to do anything that would come back to haunt them. The artists catalog of music will, according to Variety, remain in the hands of RCA and Sony Music.
A Brief History
The allegations against R. Kelly have been going on for just about the entirety of his career. When the R&B singer was indicted in 2002 on having 21 counts of child pornography in his possession, the industry barely bat an eye. Even going back to 1994, Kelly and singer Aaliyah were allegedly wed illegally when she was just 15. The two were married with a fake identification that presented her as being 18 years old so that she could legally consent. The marriage was soon annulled, and both parties denied the allegations for quite some time.
Last July, Buzzfeed News published a story that outed Kelly as being the leader of a sex cult. Parents had come forward to claim that their daughters had been held despite both Kelly and the victims denying the allegations.
Now, in the wake of Surviving R. Kelly, victims are speaking up against the musician more than ever. Jerhonda Pace, one of the accusers, went on Dateline this week to discuss the potential DNA she has that belongs to Kelly. Pace says that she still has a shirt containing DNA from when she and the artist had a sexual relationship. Tracy Sampson also came forward on the show to speak against her alleged abuser for the first time. In the show, Sampson details the abuse that she received from the now defamed artist during the years she worked as an intern when she was 16 in 1999.
Now that R. Kelly is under investigation it looks like his victims may be able to see some justice for what they endured. The 6-episode television special “Surviving R. Kelly” is now available through lifetime, if you dare to watch it.
Julia Sachs is a staff writer at Grit Daily. She covers tech, entrepreneurship and entertainment news and is based in Park City, Utah.