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11th Oct 2021

R. Kelly’s sales soared 500 per cent after guilty verdict

Danny Jones

R. Kelly's sales went up after guilty verdict

Kelly was found guilty of sex trafficking, exploitation, kidnapping and more on September 27

R. Kelly’s record sales went up by more than 500 per cent following the guilty verdict in his long-running sexual misconduct case in late September.

As per a piece by Rolling Stone, the latest figures shows that not only did Kelly’s total streams jump from 11.2 million to 13.4 million but his album sales (digital and physical) went up by a staggering 517 per cent.

R. Kelly’s sales boost comes after he was found guilty on nine counts total, including racketeering, sexual exploitation of a child, kidnapping, bribery, sex trafficking and a violation of the Mann Act.

As the article goes on to explain, streaming services have “muted” much of Kelly’s music in recent years – meaning that it did not appear on the platforms’ curated playlists – and many artists such as Chance the Rapper have removed his features from their albums. However, post-conviction, his listenership only seems to have risen.

In addition to his music’s overall boost since the verdict was handed down, it is estimated that while R. Kelly was averaging around 5.4 million on-demand audio streams per week in 2017 – around the time when his long history of allegations once again found him in court – this year he has averaged around 6.4 million.

Regardless of whether it is simply because his name is fresher on people’s minds following the high-profile case, it is slightly jarring to hear that the reach of his music has actually grown following his numerous charges.

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