Lady Gaga removes track featuring R. Kelly from Apple Music and iTunes amid sexual assault allegations
In what appears to be a response to a host of sexual assault allegations against hip-hop star R. Kelly, Lady Gaga this week pulled a collaborative track with the artist from Apple's content distribution services.
As noted by Engadget on Thursday, Lady Gaga's "Do What U Want (With My Body)," from the album Artpop, is no longer available for streaming on Apple Music, nor can the song be purchased from iTunes.
Interestingly, the album itself is still live on both services with track seven — "Do What U Want" — conspicuously absent. The change suggests Gaga was able to retroactively remove a single song from a currently available album, an uncommon occurrence in the digital music business. Typically, music labels or artists pull entire albums when external issues arise.
The pop star seemingly addressed the takedown on Twitter yesterday, saying she planned to remove the song from iTunes and "other streaming platforms." Gaga cited what has become a laundry list of sexual assault and abuse allegations facing Kelly as an impetus for pulling "Do What U Want" from Apple's catalog. Kelly has consistently denied those allegations.
"I intend to remove this song off of iTunes and other streaming platforms and will not be working with him again," she said. "I'm sorry, both for my poor judgment when I was young, and for not speaking out sooner."
The post suggests "Do What U Want" was styled as a commentary on sexual assault.
"As a victim of sexual assault myself, I made both the song and video at a dark time in my life, my intention was to create something extremely defiant and provocative because I still hand't processed the trauma that had occurred in my own life," she said.
Gaga has partnered with Apple in the past, including a headline performance at the iTunes Festival in 2013.