Lady Gaga’s R. Kelly Collab Hits iTunes High Before Being Removed From the Platform
Lady Gaga made good on her word to have her R. Kelly collab "Do What U Want" removed from iTunes (and other music buying/streaming platforms) – but not before the song could peak at its highest position on Apple's music store since its initial release in 2013.
Yesterday we told you how Lady Gaga spoke out on social media about her 2013 duet with R. Kelly from her Artpop album after Lifetime's Surviving R. Kelly docu-series sparked renewed interest in R. Kelly's alleged sexual assaults, and his past work with other artists. Gaga's statement said she supported all sexual assault victims and apologized for recording and releasing the song. She vowed to have the song removed from music services.
As expected, it took hours for it to actually be removed, but by the end of Thursday (Jan. 9) it had been taken down from iTunes, and began disappearing from other services like Spotify.
The thing is, all the press and buzz about the song seemed to help remind people it existed, who then went to buy and listen to it. PopCrave reports that being removed from iTunes, "Do What U Want" had risen to at least #11 on US iTunes' top songs chart.
Interestingly, the version of the song with pop vet Christina Aguilera replacing Kelly, is still available on all platforms. Gaga released the studio version with Xtina after the two performed the girl-power team up live on the 2013 season finale of The Voice.
In an Oct. 2018 interview with Andy Cohen on his SiriusXM show, Aguilera explained how the Gaga duet came to be after Cohen asked about blogger Perez Hilton pitting the two against each other and fueling rumors for years that the two pop stars had beef.
"Me and Gaga actually had a conversation, I think we touched on that for a second and yeah, I don't think they deal with each other at all anymore. She learned," Aguilera said about the manufactured drama.
"And since then, you know, we've worked together, we've sang together. She's a good girl." Xtina said about Gaga. "She came on The Voice, and she wanted to duet with me on the song, and I was like 'let's do it. Why not? Hell yes!"
"Buy and stream DWUW ft Xtina to end men," one Twitter user hilariously said Thursday evening in response to he news the original had been removed from iTunes.
"She did the right thing but now is the time for the Gaga & Christina version to finally get the chart success it deserves," another fan responded on Twitter.