Spotify is making it easier to mute R. Kelly. Or any other artist for that matter. The music streaming service has quietly gone wide with a feature that makes it a breeze to block a particular artist from automatically playing in personal and curated playlists as well as charts, radio or a user’s personal library.
To engage the feature, you simply have to click the “Don’t play this artist” button located in the menu area for every artist. If you change your mind, you just go back to the same place and hit “Remove.”
What the “Don’t play” button doesn’t do is wipe the artist off the face of your Spotify account. Rather, the song or artist will continue to appear in searches, playlists, charts and radio — it just won’t get played unless you manually click on it. For example, muting James Blake and Robyn doesn’t erase their songs from a playlist like Ultimate Indie, it just breezily skips over those songs.
The much-requested feature, which was spotted by Thurrott, appears to only be accessible on mobile, but once an artist is blocked for an account it also applies to the desktop player. Spotify did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Rollout of the feature comes during the height of a movement to #MuteRKelly following years of allegations of sexual misconduct. Billboard reported last week that the R&B singer and his longtime label, Sony Music, have cut ties, and it was also revealed that his publisher quietly dropped him last spring.
Last May, Spotify unveiled a new hateful conduct policy, under which the streaming service removed all of Kelly’s music from their owned and operated playlists. While the move was praised by many, it also drew concern from some in the music industry who were worried it would represent a slippery slope, given Kelly has never been convicted of a crime. Spotify ultimately reversed the decision.