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NEW YORK (AP) — Streaming numbers for R. Kelly have remained intact a week after Spotify announced it had removed the R&B singer’s music from its playlists, citing its new policy on hate content and hateful conduct.

Spotify made the bold declaration on May 10, but R. Kelly’s streaming numbers are relatively the same with some small growth: Before the announcement, he averaged 6,584,000 weekly streams for the year. But from May 10 to May 16 he garnered 6,676,000 streams for the week, according to Nielsen Music.

R. Kelly’s streams have grown steadily in the last two years: His music averaged 4,709,000 weekly streams in 2016 and 5,666,000 weekly streams in 2017. So far for 2018, he is averaging 6,674,000 weekly streams. While R. Kelly’s streaming has grown, his numbers are small in comparison to Drake, 2017’s most streamed artist: He averaged 112,735,000 weekly streams last year.

Nielsen Music’s numbers are based on audio streams from Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora and other music platforms.

The embattled entertainer has been accused of sexual abuse of women though he faces no criminal charges. Spotify removed his music from their promoted playlists and algorithms following a campaign from #MuteRKelly and others to sanction R. Kelly. News outlets have reported that Apple and Pandora are also not promoting the singer’s music, though both companies haven’t officially made announcements like Spotify.

Shaunna Thomas, the co-founder and executive director of the women’s advocacy group UltraViolet, said the point is not to stop people from listening to his music, but for companies to stop promoting him.

“Frankly it’s not important in this context whether people are listening to his music or not, what’s important is that Spotify is holding itself to the standard that they themselves established and they live up to it,” Thomas said in an interview Monday.

Thomas wrote a letter to Spotify last week, commending the company for its new policy but also demanded that Spotify remove Chris Brown, Eminem, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and others from its playlists.

“This is really just about stepping into the role of champion, stepping into the role of setting the higher standard that I think they’ve put themselves on the track to do, and hopefully they’ll do the right thing,” Thomas said.

The Time’s Up campaign took aim at R. Kelly late last month over allegations that he has sexually abused women. The organization urged further investigation into the singer’s behavior, which has come under closer scrutiny over the last year in wake of the #MeToo movement, as women have come forward to accuse him of everything from sexual coercion to physical abuse.

Kelly has denied such charges.

The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter-producer was acquitted in 2008 of child pornography after a video circulated appearing to show him having sex with a teenage girl. Despite that, he continued to score hits and sell out arenas.

His career is not as white-hot as it once was: It’s been five years since any of his songs have charted on the Billboard Hot 100 chart: His last hit there was his guest appearance on Lady Gaga’s “Do What U Want,” which peaked at No. 13 in 2013; his last leading hit was in 2007 with “Same Girl,” which reached No. 20 and co-starred Usher.

Thomas said though R. Kelly’s streaming numbers haven’t changed much, it’s still too early to say that his music won’t be affected by the campaigns against him.

“To argue that these numbers reflect the common consensus about whether people want to be paying for his music and helping him profit off the type of music he creates and the type of person he is, I think it’s very early in the game to suggest that,” she said.


A look at R. Kelly’s most streamed songs in the last month, according to Nielsen Music (information based on streaming from April 17, 2018 through May 17, 2018).

1.”Ignition” — 6,568,000

2.”If I Could Turn Back the Hands of Time” — 2,423,000

3.”Bump N’ Grind” — 2,271,000

4.”Same Girl — 1,100,000

5.”Down Low (Nobody Has to Know)” — 1,099,000

6.”I Believe I Can Fly” — 901,000

7.”It Seems Like You’re Ready” — 874,000

8.”Step In the Name of Love” — 737,000

9.”Cookie” — 655,000

10.”When a Women’s Fed Up” — 642,000

11.”I Can’t Sleep Baby (If I)” — 565,000

12.”The World’s Greatest” — 531,000

13.”Feelin’ On Yo Booty” — 524,000

14.”Fiesta” — 484,000

15. “Step In My Room” — 482,000




1. 1994: R. Kelly Marries Aaliyah

R. Kelly worked with singer Aaliyah on her début album “Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number.” R. Kelly, 27, marries Aaliyah when she’s 15 and has her age stated as 18 on their marriage certificate. They annulled the marriage that same year and vowed to never speak about it again.

(Photo Source: PR Photos/ News Source: Newsweek)

2. 1996: Tiffany Hawkins Sues R. Kelly For Alleged Sexual Misconduct

Tiffany Hawkins sues the singer for allegedly engaging ” in inappropriate sexual conduct with (her), included but not limited to engaging in group sexual intercourse with her) and other minors.” At the time Hawkins was 15 and R. Kelly was 24. They ended up settling the suit with an undisclosed amount.

(Photo Source: PR Photos/ News Source: Newsweek)

3. 2000: Chicago Police Open An Investigation

In 2000, the Chicago Police sex crimes unit opened an investigation into R. Kelly about two alleged separate sexual misconduct allegations. This came after DeRogatis a person who worked for the “Sun-Times” received an anonymous tip. Even so, police were unable to find witnesses who’d come forward.

(Photo Source: AP Photos/ News Source: Newsweek)

4. 2001: Tracy Sampson Sues R. Kelly For Alleged Sexual Assault And Harrasment

Former Epic employee Tracy Sampson sued R. Kelly for $50k claiming that he allegedly sexually assaulted and harassed her. Sampson says that he forced her at 17 to have oral sex with another woman against her will. That case settled for another undisclosed amount.

(Photo Source: AP Photos/ News Source: Newsweek)

5. 2002: Patrice Jones Sues R. Kelly After He Allegedly Got Her Pregnant

On Saturday’s we 🏀

A post shared by R Kelly (@rkelly) on

At the age of 16, Patrice Jones claims R. Kelly allegedly got her pregnant and then forced her to get an abortion. Montina Woods sues Kelly a weeks later for allegedly taping them having sex without her permission. Both cases were settled with an undisclosed amount. Later on, a sex tape of Kelly allegedly having sex with a minor is released and he gets indicted on 21 charges of child pornography in Illinois.

(News Source: Newsweek)

6. 2003: Florida Police Charge R. Kelly With Child Pornography

Sometimes you have to just let it out! #TBT

A post shared by R Kelly (@rkelly) on

In Florida, police obtained a camera that contained images of Kelly allegedly having sex with under-aged girls. In addition to his 21 counts of child pornography in Illinois, the state of Florida charged him with 12 more.

(News Source: Newsweek)

7. 2003: The Girl In The 2002 Sex Tape Was 14

It’s cold out here on the East Coast!

A post shared by R Kelly (@rkelly) on

It’s revealed while R. Kelly is on trial for his child pornography charges in Illinois, the girl who appeared in a 2002 sex tape was only 14-years-old.

(News Source: Newsweek)

8. 2008: R. Kelly Wins His Illinois Trial


A post shared by R Kelly (@rkelly) on

After three years of being on trial for child pornography in Illinois, Kelly wins the case. A jury consisting of nine men and three women found him not guilty.

(News Source: Newsweek)

9. 2017: Mississippi Sheriff Sues R. Kelly

Grateful. Thankful. Expecting. Praying. Creating. And Enjoying Life. #KingDay

A post shared by R Kelly (@rkelly) on

In 2017, R. Kelly gets sued by a Mississippi Sheriff that accused the singer of allegedly having an affair with his wife.

(News Source: Newsweek)

10. 2017: R. Kelly Accused Of Holding Women Hostage In His Home

Happy Sunday, Fam!!

A post shared by R Kelly (@rkelly) on

DeRogatis publishes an article to BuzzFeed claiming that R. Kelly was allegedly holding 6 women against their will at his Chicago and Atlanta houses. The report suggests that Kelly dictated every part of their lives.

(News Source: Newsweek)

11. 2018: Unnamed Woman Accuses R. Kelly Of Giving Her An STI

TODAY is your newest gift...enjoy it! #MorningsWithKellz #HappyWednesday

A post shared by R Kelly (@rkelly) on

A woman who remains unnamed accused R. Kelly of allegedly giving her an STI.

(News Source: Newsweek)


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