Documentary spurs R. Kelly sales
“Surviving R. Kelly,” Lifetime’s damning documentary on the R&B star, appears to have reignited interest in his music even as many fans and celebrities condemn the artist and call to #MuteRKelly on social media.
According to numbers released Thursday by Nielsen, album sales, song sales and audio and video streams for the artist have spiked since the Jan. 3 premiere of the three-night, six-hour docuseries.
“Surviving R. Kelly” delved into claims that the artist has operated a “sex cult” and that he has physically and sexually abused scores of women.
In the three days after the premiere, which also saw the airing of parts 2 and 3 of the series, R. Kelly’s daily song and album sales more than doubled when compared with daily sales for the previous two weeks, according to data compiled by Nielsen, a data analytics company that is best known for its TV ratings.
On-demand audio streams for the same period showed a 76 percent increase and video streams increased by 85 percent.
On Friday, the women’s rights group UltraViolet flew a plane towing a banner protesting Kelly over Sony Music offices in Culver City, California. The banner read “RCA/SONY: DROP SEXUAL PREDATOR R KELLY.”
In addition, Lifetime aired an encore marathon of all six hours of “Surviving R. Kelly” on Friday.
Meanwhile, prosecutors in Atlanta and Chicago have expressed renewed interest in allegations against the 52year-old singer in the “Surviving R. Kelly” series.
Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx called a news conference Tuesday in Chicago to say she was “sickened” by the “deeply disturbing” allegations against the singer..
She urged anyone with information about accusations of sexual abuse by Kelly in Cook County to talk to prosecutors.
“Please come forward,” Foxx said. “We cannot seek justice without it.”
After Foxx’s news conference, an attorney for Kelly surfaced to say the abuse allegations in the documentary are false.
In a telephone interview with the Associated Press on Tuesday evening, Kelly’s Chicago attorney, Steve Greenberg, dismissed the allegations as “another round of stories” being used to “fill reality TV time.”
TMZ, The Blast and CNN all are reporting that the office of Atlanta-Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard Jr. has started contacting some of the women interviewed in the documentary.
According to Nielsen, album, song and stream sales for R. Kelly have spiked.