R. Kelly has been found guilty of sex trafficking. A mixture of relief and disbelief greeted the guilty verdict. Kelly, was once one of the biggest selling R&B singers but is now convicted on all nine counts after 25 years of using his fame and wealth to lure underage girls for sex. “We hope this verdict brings some sense of justice to the brave survivors who came forward,” tweeted the MuteRKelly campaign that was founded by two Black women in 2017 to try to get Kelly’s music off the airwaves.
Surviving R. Kelly
Producers of the 2019 documentary “Surviving R. Kelly” had similar sentiments. The documentary tells the stories of victims who survived R. Kellys abuse. “We commend the survivors for their bravery in speaking out and sharing their stories. Regardless of what the verdict is, they have opened up important conversations on sexual abuse that needed to happen,” Lifetime and the documentary producers said in a statement. Kelly, 54, was dropped by his record company shortly after the Lifetime documentary was aired. Musicians who had collaborated with R. Kelly, including Lady Gaga, Celine Dion and Chance the Rapper, issued apologies or asked for those recordings to be taken down from streaming services.
R. Kelly Loses Airtime
Kelly’s music disappeared from radio waves but is still available on some streaming platforms. Data from music tracking service MRC showed streams of R. Kelly’s music remained between 2017 and 2021, at about five to six million a week. Billboard reported last month that Kelly was trying to sell the rights to his back catalog but had yet to find a buyer… good luck with that. Merck Mercuriadis, whose Hipgnosis Songs Fund has recently bought the rights to songs by Paul Simon and Bob Dylan, said he was not interested in R. Kelly’s catalog. “We have no interest in the R Kelly catalog. There is a strong principle here of supporting the feelings and beliefs of our songwriting community – both women and men – that is more important than economic opportunity,” Mercuriadis said in a statement.
We stand with the women who were abused by R. Kelly. We hope the survivors will be able to get the help they need as well as be able to live their lives as close to normal as possible. This is a day of justice and we hope the survivors feel the same way.
Written by: Erinn Malloy