R. Kelly may have just been found guilty of nine charges of racketeering and sex trafficking but that doesn’t mean he’s lost off of his fans. The disgraced R&B singer will be sentenced for his first criminal case that went to court in Brooklyn, New York on May 4, 2022. Kelly has pleaded not guilty to the crimes he’s accused of, but a jury felt otherwise after listening to eight weeks of testimony from accusers, alleged handlers, and more. Despite a guilty verdict, Kelly’s music is seeing an increase in revenue.
XXL Magazine reports that per Billboard, Kelly’s music sales have jumped upwards of 517% since the recent verdict came down. The increase is not solely from music sales. The 54-year-old singer’s on-demand audio streams are also up 22%. Kelly’s video streams have also seen an increase as well. His streams are up 23% in comparison to the week before his guilty verdict.
Still, YouTube ultimately decided to pull Kelly’s official music channels from their platform, explaining that Kelly’s recent verdict violates their user policy. “We can confirm that we have terminated two channels linked to R. Kelly in accordance with our creator responsibility guidelines,” a rep for YouTube told the media outlet. Kelly will not be able to create channels moving forward. His music however can remain available for playing by third-party channels.
In 2021, Kelly’s streaming averages were more than they were in 2017, two years before his life was altered courtesy of the Lifetime docuseries Surviving R. Kelly. The ‘I Believe I Can Fly’ singer reportedly went from 5.4 million on-demand audio streams per week in 2017 to now averaging around 6.4 million.
Kelly has at least three cases facing similar charges in other states, including Minnesota, Georgia, and Illinois. He reportedly also faces charges in Florida. His legal team has already vowed to appeal his Brooklyn verdict.