R. Kelly may have been found guilty last month in his federal sex crimes trial, but the news seems to have caused a major spike in his sales and streaming numbers.
According to streaming data provided by Billboard, the disgraced artist’s catalog experienced a 14% rise in streaming during the week of his September 27th conviction, as well as a 55% rise in radio play across the country.
However, the real impact came in the week immediately following the guilty verdict. A report by Rolling Stone points out R. Kelly’s music received a 500% surge in sales, while his streaming numbers also rose by another 22% from the week prior.
Interestingly, a comparable bump came back in January 2019 when Lifetime first began airing its bombshell documentary series Surviving R. Kelly, which laid out the decades of allegations against him in stark, unflinching detail and saw artists like Lady Gaga and Ciara remove their past collaborations with him from streaming services altogether.
At the time, R. Kelly’s on-demand streaming numbers rocketed from a little over 10 million three months prior to nearly 30 million during the week the special premiered over three consecutive nights. One month later, the “I Believe I Can Fly” singer was charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.
Kelly now faces decades of prison time, and while Bill Cosby claims the singer was “railroaded” in his trial, other consequences have swiftly befallen him. Just three days after the verdict came down, the city of Baton Rouge, Louisiana rescinded the “Key to the City” honor it had once bestowed upon the artist, and earlier this week, YouTube deleted Kelly’s channels from its site entirely. However, he still does have credits on Drake’s Certified Lover Boy.