Doc­u­men­tary spurs R. Kelly sales

USA TODAY International Edition - - LIFE - Ju­lia Thomp­son Con­tribut­ing: Maria Puente, An­drea Man­dell and Maeve McDer­mott

“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 flew a plane tow­ing a ban­ner protest­ing Kelly over Sony Mu­sic offices 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 “fill re­al­ity TV time.”

TMZ, The Blast and CNN all are re­port­ing that the office of At­lanta-Ful­ton County Dis­trict At­tor­ney Paul Howard Jr. has started con­tact­ing some of the women in­ter­viewed in the doc­u­men­tary.

FRANK MICELOTTA/INVISION/AP

Ac­cord­ing to Nielsen, al­bum, song and stream sales for R. Kelly have spiked.

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