Industry Experts On R. Kelly’s Conviction And The “Enigma” Of His Music Canceling


Weekend breakfast host Sara-Jayne King chats with 947 station manager Thando Makhunga and Music Exchange founder Martin Myers.

  • Calls for #MuteRKelly on all media platforms intensified after US singer’s sex trafficking conviction
  • The question is: will R. Kelly’s music be banned?
  • Station 947 manager Thando Makhunga says radio stations should be guided by listeners’ comments on music content
  • Former record label manager Martin Myers says it’s more complicated than just banning an artist’s music

American R&B star R Kelly. Photo: @ Rkelly /

Will R. Kelly’s music be banned following his criminal conviction?

The famous American singer, real name Robert Sylvester Kelly, has been found guilty of all nine counts in his sex trafficking case.

The disgraced R&B artist was convicted this week after years of allegations of sexual abuse.

RELATED: R Kelly Vows To Prove Innocence After Sex Crime Conviction

How will this verdict impact the music of the Grammy winner?

Station 947 manager Thando Makhunga said the Johannesburg radio station does not currently broadcast R. Kelly’s music.

According to Makhunga, the hit-maker has fallen from radio playlists over the years because his music “no longer resonates” with audiences.

She says 947 responded to comments from listeners who no longer wanted to hear her tracks.

“In R Kelly’s case, it was listeners calling and complaining. It was very honestly incessant, and not just R Kelly.”

With calls to mute other musicians such as Da Baby and Chris Brown over the years, Makhunga says radio stations need to be guided by listeners and “respond to what the audience thinks is acceptable.”

“It can never be the media platform that makes this decision for consumers,” she told Sara-Jayne King, host of Weekend Breakfast.

At this time no. 947 has no R. Kelly on the playlist.

Thando Makhunga, station manager – 947

His fan base and the passion for his music and he as an artist was. So the fact that we no longer play the music on Primedia radio stations just tells you the impact of some of the allegations and things that have been done about him as a person.

Thando Makhunga, station manager – 947

At the same time, former music director Martin Myers says muting an artist on media platforms is never a simple decision.

Myers, who previously worked for R. Kelly’s former label BMG, says there are often business considerations to take into account.

RELATED: Singer Sparkle Opens Up About R Kelly Sexual Abuse Allegations

Kelly is one of the best-selling artists of all time and has sold over 75 million albums worldwide.

To complicate matters further, Myers says that artists like R. Kelly have written music for other artists such as Michael Jackson, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston and Toni Braxton.

Myers wonders if it’s possible to just cancel Kelly’s music when other artists and industry players have benefited from her work as well.

It’s a huge conundrum.

Martin Myers, Founder – Music Exchange

The money in the music business is made by the songwriter, that’s where the money is and he’s written a lot of hits.

Martin Myers, Founder – Music Exchange

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