It appears crime plays.
R. Kelly may be trapped in prison, but “Trapped in the Closet” and a slew of his other hit singles are surging in popularity following his conviction on sex trafficking charges.
The disgraced singer’s album sales have jumped a whopping 517% since a New York jury handed down their guilty verdict on Sept. 27, according to Rolling Stone.
Kelly, 54, was found guilty of sexual exploitation, bribery, racketeering and sex trafficking involving five victims. He is now facing the prospect of life behind bars.
Many may have guessed that the crimes would cause a cancellation of Kelly’s classic tracks, but the opposite has occurred.
In addition to the spike in album sales, streams of the R&B crooner’s tunes are also up.
From Sept. 27 and Oct. 3 — the week following Kelly’s conviction — his “on-demand audio streams were up 22%,” while his “video streams were up 23% compared to the previous seven days.”
And while the verdict prompted a pronounced spike in streams, his music has been well-played throughout the entirety of 2021.
In fact, his singles have been more streamed this year than they were in 2017, despite witnesses at his high-profile trial revealing horrific acts he carried out against them.
According to Rolling Stone: “In 2017, Kelly was averaging around 5.4 million on-demand audio streams per week, and this year he’s averaged around 6.4 million.”
Kelly’s songs are still available on most streaming services, including Spotify and Apple Music. However, earlier this week, Google shut down two official R. Kelly YouTube accounts, claiming they “violated creator responsibility guidelines.”
It’s unclear how many people would own up to playing the “Ignition” musician’s songs, given that he’s now a public pariah.
But there is one man who’s defending the sleazy singer — disgraced sitcom star Bill Cosby.
Cosby believes Kelly “was screwed” and that “he wasn’t going to catch a break” during his monthlong trial, his spokesman, Andrew Wyatt, recently told The Post.
“The deck was stacked against [him],” Wyatt declared. “His constitutional rights were grossly abused. I don’t know anywhere but in this country in the United States that a documentary can bring criminal charges against someone.
“No one fought hard for him,” and his attorneys didn’t “humanize him,” Wyatt said.
Kelly is scheduled to be sentenced on May 4 of next year.