When a conviction boosts fame … On September 27, the rapper was found guilty by a New York court of a series of sex crimes, including that of having run for years a “system” of exploitation sexuality of young women, including minors. Imprisoned since, the rapper learned a very surprising good news. Since he has been behind bars, his career has experienced renewed success. According to Rolling Stones in fact, the songs of R. Kelly jumped in the charts of the most listened to music in the week which followed the verdict. From September 27 to October 3, streaming platforms recorded a jump of 22%, while video platforms (like YouTube) increased by 23% compared to the previous seven days. In total, his streams went from 11.2 million to 13.4 million.
Even more surprisingly, R. Kelly’s album sales .. increased by 517%! For the past four years, streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify have boycotted R. Kelly’s music by not including his songs on curated playlists. In 2017, the interpreter of I believe I can fly recorded an average of around 5.4 million plays per week, and this year, an average of around 6.4 million. Since his conviction, however, music has disappeared from YouTube. The site has in fact removed the two official channels of the rapper found guilty, R. Kelly TV and R. Kelly Vevo. “The heinous acts committed by R. Kelly justify sanctions which go beyond the measures usually applied, because of a risk of generalized harm”, explained in a memo Nicole Alston, director of the legal department of Youtube.
R. Kelly: ready to rock other stars?
“In summary, we are taking this step to protect our users like other platforms do. R. Kelly will no longer be able to use, own or create YouTube channels,” she continued. In prison, the rapper tries everything to alleviate his sentence. According to the American media, they would have warned his lawyers that he was ready to throw out the names of other celebrities who could be convicted on the same charges as him. In particular a rapper and a “great singer”. As a reminder, the rapper was convicted of several crimes, including extortion, sexual exploitation of minors, kidnapping, corruption and forced labor. R Kelly is not yet fixed since justice must deliver his verdict in husband 2022. He risks between ten years in prison and life imprisonment.
R. Kelly © Backgrid USA