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    R Kelly conviction: will this be music’s #MeToo moment?

    “It’s too late,” Robert Kelly wore sunglasses indoors, and smoke swirled from the cigar on his left hand, toasting with his friends. “They should have done this shit 30 years ago.”

    In May 2018, an R & B artist known as R Kelly has fought the proceedings since the 1990s.But he was then put under new surveillance Reported by BuzzFeed He was holding the woman in a “cult-like” environment and asked her to ask for permission to eat and use the bathroom.

    Kelly brushes off Claims to spin the liquor in a plastic glass as he boasted: “Music has already been injected into the world.”

    Three years later, the 54-year-old could be sentenced to life imprisonment. In recent weeks, 45 witnesses have spoken in Brooklyn courts annoyingly about Kelly’s physical, mental and sexual abuse. Today, one of the best-selling recording artists in recent history is finally facing the consequences. A jury on Monday was found guilty of all sexual trafficking and extortion, including Kelly’s sexual exploitation of children.

    It’s no wonder Kelly once felt invincible. He has endured decades of claims and proceedings, but while his star went up, music executives and staff disagreed, each systematically delaying or resolving. bottom. Kelly’s timeless hits, such as “I Believe I Can Fly,” dominated elementary school graduation, even if a black woman sued him for abusing them as a teenager.

    “Nothing beats the omnipotent dollar in the music industry,” said Jim DeRogatis, a Chicago music journalist and critic who has reported R. Kelly’s violations for over 20 years. “Much more than in movies, politics, or other areas of #MeToo, there’s this image of’bad boy’ hip-hop and rock’n’roll star. “

    R. Kelly will perform in 2011 before the Grammy Awards © Mark J Terrill / AP

    The resurrection of Kelly, considered the most notable criminal conviction in modern music history, sheds an unpleasant light on the industry practices of making property from these “bad boys.”

    The artist has sold over 40 million albums throughout his career. This year, his previous label, RCA, earned nearly $ 2 million in royalties, even if hearing declined due to his public disgrace. Billboard Estimated in August.

    In 2017 #MeToo movement The press swept the film and television industry as it exposed the abuse of Harvey Weinstein and others, defeating the scores of powerful business and political giants. But with a few exceptions, the music business hasn’t experienced the same computational moments felt elsewhere in Hollywood and American companies.

    Many popular musicians, including David Bowie, Bob Dylan, and Michael Jackson, have been accused of sexual misconduct for many years. A funny story with many rock stars attacking teenage fans in the starry sky.

    But by Kelly’s belief, music now has its Weinstein. The act is so widespread, vicious and peculiar that it cannot be ignored. But will the industry change this time?

    When the music stops

    In some respects, Kelly has already been muted over the last few years. He was virtually removed from the radio and dropped on record labels Sony and Universal. According to Chartmetric data, Kelly’s monthly Spotify listeners have halved from more than 8.3 million in 2018 to 4.9 million this week. But this number still equates him to acts such as Stevie Nicks and The XX.

    According to people approached by the singer, Kelly recently called on investors to buy his stock in his songwriting catalog when he was facing a financial crisis. Still, the catalog of monster hits is now a fire sale. Even Merck Mercuriadis Devoured hundreds of catalogs At a spectacular price in recent years, he says he’s “not interested.”

    Barry Masarski, who values ​​music assets, said he “did not touch” the task of evaluating Kelly’s catalog. “Buyers will be really grumpy. Until now, they didn’t have to deal with reputational risk,” he said. “It’s all about predicting future cash flow, and how do you do that here?”

    The industry is avoiding him now, but music executives have been aware of the accusations against Kelly for decades.

    At the top of the list is Clive Calder, who made billions of dollars by signing teen stars Nsync and Britney Spears in addition to R Kelly, making his company Jive Records a pop powerhouse in the 1990s. I did. Calder told The Washington Post in 2018 that he “obviously missed something,” but he added that he was “not a psychiatrist.”

    After Kelly was arrested for child pornography in 2003, Jive CEO Barry Weiss told The New York Times from 1991 to 2011: R Kelly must be R Kelly. ”

    Weiss told FT when he made that comment, “I had no idea of ​​the extent of the action that was taking place to be blamed.”

    According to Weiss, contracts usually prevent record companies from dropping artists unless they are convicted of a crime. “When you sign them, you’re trapped in a contract,” he said. “”[The artist] I’m not an employee. They don’t work for you. It is a work for hire. “

    Even today, there is little indication that Wyeth or Calder’s career was influenced by his relationship with Kelly.Last year, the industry Bible Rolling Stone Featured Weiss In an ardent series of “industry leaders,” Calder retired in the Cayman Islands and sold the empire for $ 2.7 billion.

    I wasn’t able to ask Calder for comment.

    “Executives are paralyzed. They’re burying their heads in the sand,” said Drew Dixon, a former A & R executive who raped music tycoon Russell Simmons. “The idea that this dysfunctional culture is needed to create the magic of hit records is a crackdown.”

    Drew Dixon
    Former A & R executive Drew Dixon, who raped music tycoon Russell Simmons, denies him © Getty / Equality Now

    Dixon in his early twenties got a dream job. A Def Jam Recordings scout talent who worked with artists such as Notorious BIG, she left the company after Simmons claimed to have been raped. She will eventually leave the industry altogether. Simmons denied Dixon’s allegations, stating that all his relationships had reached an agreement.

    Kelly will be in jail for at least 10 years. Still, his music is still alive, and record labels and streaming services are pointing to each other as to who should be responsible for deciding whether to take his song offline.

    Sony’s RCA and Universal Music each own Kelly’s copyright chunks. Neither company advertised his work, and neither removed Kelly from the roster. But they keep his music online.

    Anonymously speaking paired major label executives defended Kelly’s choice not to bring music to the world, claiming that removing it would punish the co-authors of his songs, who are still making money from them. bottom. Another executive said the streaming service needs to call about the content it hosts.

    Spotify in 2018 temporarily removed Kelly’s music from a powerful playlist, but overturned the policy a few weeks later, stating that it was “not aiming to play a judge or jury” at the time. increase.

    Sony, Universal Music, and Amazon declined to comment on the story, but Spotify and YouTube didn’t respond to requests for comment.

    Dixon says he is disappointed with the relative silence from big musicians and music executives this week. “R Kelly is a sacrificial lamb,” Dixon said. “They decide: we cut out that accessory and keep it moving.”

    R Kelly conviction: will this be music’s #MeToo moment? Source link R Kelly conviction: will this be music’s #MeToo moment?

    The post R Kelly conviction: will this be music’s #MeToo moment? appeared first on California News Times.

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