Despite R. Kelly’s conviction for racketeering, sexual exploitation of a child, and kidnapping, it appears that many aren’t actually muting the disgraced singer. During the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3— according to Rolling Stone—the singer’s album sales have soared 517 percent. His audio streams also increased by 22 percent and video streams were up 23 percent, compared to the previous seven days. Overall, his streams upped from 11.2 million to 13.4 million.
In recent years, both Apple Music and Spotify have removed Kelly’s music from curated playlists, and several artists have personally opted to remove collaborations or songs written and produced by Kelly from streaming platforms. Following the release of Surviving R. Kelly in 2019, he was dropped from RCA Records, and radio airplay nearly ceased.
Back in 2017, the Chicago native averaged roughly 5.4 million in on-demand audio streams per week. However, when Jim DeRogatis’ BuzzFeed exposé story dropped that same year, Kelly was in the midst of a commercial decline with his 2015 studio album being the lowest selling of his career, with his last single to chart on the Hot 100 was in 2013— as reported by Billboard.
Just one week ago (Oct. 5), YouTube permanently suspended his official channels, RKellyVevo and RKellyTV. He is banned from creating or owning new channels, but his discography is still available on YouTube Music and unofficial videos remain on the platform.
Kelly is still pending trials for federal and state charges in Illinois and Minnesota.