Despite R. Kelly being found guilty of kidnapping, sexual exploitation of a child, and racketeering in September, the R&B singer’s album sales have risen more than 500 percent in the week following his conviction.
Kelly, who is scheduled to be sentenced on May 4, 2022 and faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years to life in prison, had seen his album sales jump 517 percent after his verdict, according to Rolling Stone.
Between September 27—the date of his verdict—to October 3, Kelly’s on-demand audio streams jumped 22 percent, and video streams increased to 23 percent compared to the week before. His streams went from 11.2 million to 13.4 million, the publication reports.
These streaming increases come as YouTube pulled two of Kelly’s official channels, citing the platform’s “creator responsibility guidelines,” which say YouTube can remove a user for “on- and/or off-platform behavior that we may consider to be inappropriate.”
“Egregious actions committed by R. Kelly warrant penalties beyond standard enforcement measures due to a potential to cause widespread harm,” Nicole Alston, head of legal at YouTube, said, per Bloomberg.
“Ultimately we are taking this action to protect our users similar to other platforms.”
R. Kelly was found guilty of nine federal racketeering and sex trafficking counts after 50 witnesses were called to testify during the Brooklyn trial.
The counts included one count of racketeering based on 14 acts that included sexual exploitation of children, kidnapping, forced labor, as well as eight violations of the sex-trafficking statute, the Mann Act.