Michael Jackson’s Music Has Not Been Banned by the BBC

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) – Contrary to a report that apparently originated with British publication The Times, a rep for the BBC tells Variety that the network, and specifically BBC2 Radio, has not banned or dropped Michael Jackson’s music in the wake of the blockbuster documentary “Leaving Neverland,” which premiered on HBO Sunday night and will premier on the BBC Wednesday.

“The BBC does not ban artists,” the rep said. “We consider each piece of music on its merits and decisions on what we play on different networks are always made with relevant audiences and context in mind,” she said, adding that BBC2’s playlists focus on new artists and thus music from Jackson, who died of an accidental drug overdose in 2009, does not apply (the most recent posthumous album was released in 2014).

Another BBC rep noted, “Michael Jackson was just played on one of our stations today.”

The Times reported Sunday that the late singer’s music had been “quietly dropped” from the station in advance of the documentary’s airing.

In the U.S., the second-largest radio network, Cumulus, deferred any such decision to individual stations.

“Cumulus Media is never in favor of censorship,” the rep said. “This is a local market decision where the company is allowing local Program Directors to make the right decision regarding airplay for their communities.”

A rep for iHeartRadio, the country’s largest radio network, declined Variety’s request for comment; the same is true of Spotify and Apple Music, the two largest streaming services in the U.S.

The lack of comment is possibly related in part to the fierce wave of criticism Spotify received when it instituted a policy against “hateful conduct” by artists last year, in which artists would be banned from its official playlists.

That policy was directed at R. Kelly and XXXTentacion — neither of whom had been convicted of any crimes at the time — before the streaming service quickly pulled back from the policy, although Kelly’s music does not appear to have returned to official Spotify playlists.

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Shooting suspect arrested in death of XXXTentacion – NY Daily News

Dedrick Williams arrested for the murder of XXXTentacion on June 20, 2018 in Deerfield Beach, Florida. (Deerfield Beach Sheriff’s Office)

A suspect has been arrested in the death of rapper XXXTentacion, according to police.

Dedrick D. Williams was taken into custody Wednesday, two days after the artist, whose birth name was Jahseh Onfroy, was gunned down in South Florida.

The arrest was confirmed to the Daily News by Broward County Sheriff’s Office Captain Robert Schakenberg.

XXXTentacion, 20, was outside a motorsports store in the Miami area’s Deerfield Beach when two armed men approached him in what is believed to have been a robbery, according to sheriff’s investigators.

They then allegedly fled in an SUV.

Charges for Williams, 22, include first-degree murder, a probation violation for theft of a car motor vehicle and driving without a valid license.

After the arrest it was not clear if police were still looking for another suspect.

This is a developing story and will be updated