The decision to part ways arrives weeks after the docuseries, Surviving R. Kelly, made its debut on Lifetime. The documentary centers around Kelly's allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse that have impacted the lives of countless black women and girls over the years.
Kelly has now been under a contract at RCA Records since 2012 with his transition to the Sony umbrella taking place due to a merger with his first label, Jive, in 2007. While Sony Records has not yet issued a formal statement on the matter, all mentions of Kelly has been removed from RCA's website.
At the time of this report, the R&B singer's catalog will remain with RCA/Sony. His music is also still available on both digital retailers and streaming services. Kelly's latest release, a Christmas-themed album, dropped in 2016. He has since announced he has a new album on the way.
Earlier this week, #MuteRKelly protesters gathered outside of Sony's headquarters in Manhattan to add more pressure against the company to finally take action following the airing of the explosive documentary, which helped bring to light the magnitude of the allegations he's facing. Kelly has adamantly denied all claims, as well as threatened to take legal action as a result of Lifetime's decision to air the docuseries.
According to Variety, the decision to dissolve their working relationship with R. Kelly was one made "responsibly" in order to avoid possible legal ramifications.
"Any record company — or, really, any party to any contract — can decide they no longer want to be in the contract," entertainment attorney Leslie Frank shared with the publication. "The question is what can happen as a result of them asserting their desire to terminate the term of the agreement. R. Kelly could sue for damages. If R. Kelly does not want to terminate the agreement and instigates a dispute saying that it's a breach of contract by RCA, if RCA is concerned about the cost of litigation and how a court might decide, they could try to come to a settlement with R. Kelly."
Recently, in addition to celebrities publicly denouncing Kelly, Lady Gaga decided to remove "Do What U Want," her collaboration with the singer, from streaming services and digital retailers last week.