As the sexual misconduct and abuse allegations against R. Kelly continue to pile up, collaborators like Gaga are being confronted with the tricky question of what should become of their shared music releases. But the new ARTPOP versions would appear to mark the first time an artist has fully re-released an album to cut out Kelly's involvement.
Earlier this year, Gaga delivered on a promise to remove "Do What U Want" from all streaming platforms, after issuing an apology for recording it in the first place. "As a victim of sexual assault myself, I made both the songs and video at a dark time in my life," she wrote, referring to the allegations against Kelly as "horrifying" and "indefensible."
Her comments came shortly after Lifetime's Surviving R. Kelly docuseries in January, which detailed decades of sexual misconduct allegations against the singer (which Kelly has denied in the past). Since, artists from Chance the Rapper to Phoenix have also made public apologies for working with Kelly, who is currently awaiting trial on sex abuse charges, and some have made attempts to pull collaborations from streaming platforms, too. Chance's 2015 collaboration with Kelly, “Somewhere in Paradise," is no longer available to stream.
As of writing, a vinyl version of ARTPOP with "Do What U Want" is still listed on Gaga's official website, where it has sold out.