R. Kelly’s music is seeing an unusual boost after a controversial documentary that shed light on the decades of sexual assault allegations against the singer.
This week, Lifetime aired a docu-series called Surviving R. Kelly that explored the many allegations against him, including new evidence of an alleged episode with underage singer Aaliyah that took place on a crowded tour bus. But as the Blast noted, the sordid allegations have also led to new interest in the R&B singer’s music online.
The report noted that R. Kelly’s streams on Spotify increased 16 percent since the first part of the series aired on Thursday night. The platform had distanced itself from Kelly last year before backtracking, the report noted.
“The bump is interesting, considering the rocky past between R. Kelly and Spotify,” the report read. “Back in May, the global streaming giant announced they were removing R. Kelly’s music from all of its owned and operated playlists as part of an updated policy to stop promoting artists who have been accused of ‘hateful conduct.’ “
Surviving R. Kelly generated quite a bit of attention this week, with the shows trending on Twitter and many commenting on the allegations against the singer. One new allegation came from former backup singer Jovante Cunningham, who claimed that she witnessed the singer having a number of sexual encounters with underage girls, People magazine reported.
Cunningham descried an incident where she saw R. Kelly having sex with Aaliyah, who was underage at the time, on a crowded tour bus. Cunningham said the two were in a sleeping area, and a group of others walked in on them.
Cunningham said the incident left her scarred.
“Things that an adult should not be doing with a child,” she said, adding, “I can’t stress to you how people are still suffering behind things that went on 20 years ago.”
R. Kelly had taken Aaliyah under his wing when she was just 12, and there were widespread allegations that the two were later married when Aaliyah was 15. Kelly faced a number of allegations of sexual misconduct, even going to trial for allegations that he filmed a sex tape with an underage girl. R. Kelly was ultimately acquitted, but continued to face allegations including more recent ones that he held women against their will in what was described as a “sex cult.” The singer has continued to deny the allegations, and has spoken little about his relationship with Aaliyah.