R. Kelly's Streams and Sales Have Increased Following His Convictions
The R&B singer and convicted predator's album sales have jumped by 517 percent
Published Oct 08, 2021Last month, R. Kelly was found guilty on nine counts of racketeering and sex trafficking. In a better world, one might expect that to dampen his music's popularity — but as reported by Rolling Stone, that hasn't been the case.
In fact, between September 27 and October 3, streams of Kelly's music jumped by 22 percent, video streams by 23 percent, and album sales by a whopping 517 percent. In 2017, Kelly was averaging about 5.4 million audio streams per week — this year he's averaged around 6.4 million.
At the same time, his music has been gradually 'muted' by streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify, who've declined to include Kelly on their curated playlists. YouTube also announced this week that it has shut down Kelly's two official YouTube accounts, though unofficial videos remain available and his music is still accessible on YouTube Music.
Several artists have pulled their collaborations with Kelly in the wake of the scandal, including Chance the Rapper, Jennifer Hudson and Lady Gaga.
Despite the reactions from streamers and industry players, it's another disappointing case of an artists' serious wrongdoing sparking support for their work. Earlier this year, country star Morgan Wallen's audio streams and album sales tripled after he was filmed saying the N-word.
While his music was removed from radio stations and he was recently banned from attending the upcoming CMA Awards, Wallen's popularity hasn't dipped much in the wake of the supposed fallout. It's another example of the flimsy consequences of so-called "cancel culture" — industry black-balling can rarely compete with legions of still-dedicated fans.