Following R. Kelly being found guilty of sex trafficking and racketeering, it is now a bit harder to find his songs and videos: YouTube has permanently suspended the RKellyTV and RKellyVevo channels, which hosted official uploads of Kelly’s videos and songs.
Nicole Alston, YouTube’s head of legal, told Bloomberg, “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.”
Alston also noted that Kelly will no longer be able to use, own, or create YouTube channels. A YouTube spokesperson also said in a statement, “We can confirm that we have terminated two channels linked to R. Kelly in accordance with our creator responsibility guidelines.”
That said, as it stands now, at least a portion of the videos that originally appeared on these channels are still accessible, but with caveats. Searching YouTube for “Ignition (Remix),” for example, shows an audio-only result (a video just featuring cover art) that appears to be from the RKellyTV channel. When clicking on the channel link, though, the channel is blank except for the message, “This account has been terminated for a violation of YouTube’s Terms of Service.”
When going to watch that actual “Ignition (Remix)” video, the page is accessible and the video is able to be played, but the page indicates the video is from the “R. Kelly – Topic” channel, instead of RKellyTV as indicated in the YouTube search results.
Meanwhile, the page for the RKellyVevo channel behaves differently than the RKellyTV channel. Instead of a message about the channel’s termination, it is as though the channel never existed at all, as the error page is the same one yielded when trying to access an invalid YouTube URL: “This page isn’t available. Sorry about that. Try searching for something else.”
Videos for songs on which Kelly features, like Ja Rule’s “Wonderful” and Nick Cannon’s “Gigolo,” are still available on YouTube, as they were uploaded to different channels. As of now, Kelly’s music is still available on YouTube Music, as it is on other audio streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music.