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UPDATED: Spotify Confirms R. Kelly’s Streaming Numbers Jumped Following Docuseries

January 6, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
R. Kelly

UPDATE: R. Kelly may not be happy with the Lifetime docuseries about his sex abuse allegations, but they’re proving lucrative in the short term at least. Spotify confirmed to The Blast that the R&B singer’s streaming numbers increased 16% since Lifetime premiered the series on Thursday night.

Spotify was ironically the first to take action against Kelly as a distributor, removing his music back in May in an update to its policy to stop giving a platform to artists who have been accused of hateful conduct. After backlash, they reversed their stance on Kelly’s music.

ORIGINAL: Jada Pinkett Smith and Tank are among the latest celebrities to come out against R. Kelly amidst Lifetime’s docuseries about his alleged sex cult. Smith posted a video to Instagram expressing disbelief that Kelly’s streaming numbers have reportedly risen since the release of the series, while Tank (himself an Grammy-nominated R&B singer) posted to his own account blasting Kelly. You can see both posts below.

Smith said in her video, “So I got an article this morning that R. Kelly streams have spiked substantially since the release of the Surviving R. Kelly docuseries, and I’m having a really difficult time understanding why. But I think it’s important that I understand why. I really would like for you guys to help me understand what I’m missing, even if I’m missing something that I don’t necessarily agree with. I just wanna understand what I’m missing.”

Smith asked fans to explain the situation to her and said that she will continue the conversation in a post on Facebook Live Wednesday at 5 PM PT. She added, “And I really don’t wanna believe that it’s because black girls don’t matter enough, or is that the reason? Let me know.”

Tank, known for songs like “Please Don’t Go” and “Take My Time,” said in his post that artists are “very confused as to how to respond to” Kelly, as they’ve all been inspired by him. That said, he noted, “I no longer have that issue. I whole heartedly apologize for not coming to this realization sooner.”

He goes on to say, “I CANOT [sic] separate the music from the monster! My 3 black daughters won’t let me. What hurts even more are the facilitators around him. His team, his record company, the promoters, the radio stations! There has to be a line drawn. Enough has to be enough at some point. Who are we saying is worth protecting if we let this continue? I choose the lives of these young black girls! I’m sick to my stomach!”

The special finished its six-episode run on Saturday and contains several allegations of Kelly physically, emotionally and sexually abusing women, who he is mind controlling into being part of what is essentially a sex cult.

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I lot of artists, song writers, producers, record execs, etc are very confused as to how to respond to what they’ve seen and heard. We’ve all been inspired by this man. We’ve all been witnesses to his musical genius. We have shaped and molded talent we sign after his musical image. We’ve invested so much of ourselves into this man that it’s hard for us to let go. I no longer have that issue. I whole heartedly apologize for not coming to this realization sooner. I CANOT separate the music from the monster! My 3 black daughters won’t let me. What hurts even more are the facilitators around him. His team, his record company, the promoters, the radio stations! There has to be a line drawn. Enough has to be enough at some point. Who are we saying is worth protecting if we let this continue? I choose the lives of these young black girls! I’m sick to my stomach! Let me also say this! There are more men guilty of these crimes! Lets make sure none of them slip through the cracks every again! You are no king because kings don’t treat queens like this! #RnBMoney #TheGeneral

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