On Jan. 9, Gaga issued a statement about her 2013 collaboration with Kelly, “Do What U Want,” and wrote that she intended to “remove this song off of iTunes and other streaming platforms…”
As of 10 p.m. ET on Jan. 10, “Do What U Want,” featuring Kelly, had been removed from the U.S. iTunes Store, and is no longer part of the tracklist of its parent album, Gaga’s ARTPOP. The album is also currently unavailable to purchase in the store, though the rest of its tracks are available to buy individually.
Earlier on Jan. 10, “Do What U Want” had climbed back into the top 15 of the U.S. iTunes Stores’ Top Songs list, which ranks the most-bought songs of the moment.
Further, the track is no longer available to stream via the U.S. Apple Music service, nor is it playable via Gaga’s official YouTube channel.
On both Apple Music and in the iTunes Store, fans can still stream and purchase an alternative version of “Do What U Want,” which features Christina Aguilera instead of R. Kelly and different lyrics. The Aguilera-aided version of the song was released in December of 2013 as a stand-alone single, following the Kelly version in October of that year. The Aguilera version was never added to the ARTPOP tracklist.
On U.S. Spotify, the album version featuring R. Kelly is also not playable. However, a remix featuring Kelly and Rick Ross is still live on Spotify, in addition to various dance remixes, which include Kelly’s vocals. The Aguilera version is also still available in Spotify.
It’s important to note that changes to digital music services do not happen instantly. When an artist adds music, or makes a change to existing music, on a service, it takes time for the requested change to ingest. So, just because “Do What U Want” is still available in some services, that likely means that it is taking longer to process the requested change. At press time, on three other leading U.S. streaming services, U.S. Amazon Music, Tidal, Soundcloud, the Kelly version of “Do What U Want” appears to still be available to purchase and/or stream.