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A new R. Kelly album hit streaming apps. His lawyer says it’s a crime.


A set of latest songs from R. Kelly that briefly appeared on Spotify and Apple Music on Friday was an “unauthorized” launch of stolen music, the incarcerated R&B singer’s legal professional mentioned.

Jennifer Bonjean, a lawyer for Kelly, advised The Washington Put up that the 13-track album is “music of Mr. Kelly’s that’s within the arms of people that mustn’t have it.” The songs — all recorded earlier than Kelly’s imprisonment — appeared on the digital platforms Friday and had been taken down inside hours, leaving many listeners stunned and confused.

Bonjean mentioned Kelly’s grasp recordings had been stolen across the time of his arrest on intercourse crime expenses in February 2019, doubtlessly by way of recording gear or a tough drive. She declined to determine potential culprits.

“Individuals have stolen his music earlier than, so this has occurred, however normally it exhibits up on YouTube or it’s normally, like, a observe,” Bonjean mentioned. “It was uncommon as a result of it was streaming on Spotify and Apple. We nonetheless don’t know why they began streaming it.”

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Representatives for Apple Music and Spotify didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark from The Put up. Chatting with Variety, a Spotify consultant mentioned: “This content material has been faraway from the platform on the request of the distributor.”

The songs, collectively billed as “I Admit It” on the streaming providers, included tracks titled “Air,” “I Discovered Love,” “Freaky Sensation” and “The Final Man Standing,” based on screenshots posted to social media. The album concluded with “I Admit It (I Did It),” a 19-minute tune beforehand launched on SoundCloud in July 2018. The observe, on which Kelly addresses the sexual abuse allegations towards him, was break up into three elements when it appeared on the digital platforms Friday.

Billboard and Variety reported that the album was launched by the label Actual Speak Leisure and uploaded via Ingrooves, a Common Music Group distributor that each shops mentioned is now slicing ties with Actual Speak. The songs reportedly had been launched by way of a Actual Speak sub-label referred to as Legacy Recordings, which has the identical title as a Sony Music label.

A consultant for Sony Music’s Legacy Recordings confirmed to The Put up that it didn’t launch the songs. Representatives from Ingrooves and Actual Speak couldn’t instantly be reached for remark.

Kelly, 55, was sentenced to 30 years in prison in June after a New York jury discovered him responsible of intercourse trafficking and racketeering, expenses stemming from allegations that he abused girls and minors over practically three a long time. A Chicago jury convicted him in September of kid pornography and intercourse abuse expenses in a second federal trial, together with his sentencing set for February.

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A chart-topping recording artist, Kelly launched 14 studio albums from 1993 to 2016 and received three Grammys for his 1998 hit “I Consider I Can Fly.” He turned one of many highest profile entertainers to face authorized penalties for sexual misconduct amid the #MeToo motion.

Bonjean mentioned she spoke Friday to Kelly, who’s being detained on the Metropolitan Correctional Heart in Chicago, to tell him of the leak.

“His legal circumstances are in the beginning,” Bonjean mentioned. “However sure, this has at all times been on our minds, and it’s very tough to determine who has [the music]. It’s a matter of how do you go about getting it again.” She mentioned she believed a criticism had beforehand been made to police in regards to the masters, “however there’s not a lot of an urge for food on the a part of regulation enforcement to do something with it.”

Bonjean added, “It’s not [Kelly’s] major focus, however it’s one thing that must be prioritized sooner or later and we’re attempting to place collectively a workforce to unravel it.”

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