On May 10, after #MuteRKelly went viral, it was reported that Spotify removed R. Kelly‘s music from all of their playlists under their public hate content and hateful conduct policy. In addition, streaming service Pandora also agreed to no longer actively promote the 51-year-old’s music. However, even with new allegations and accusations, his streaming numbers are reportedly unscathed.
The Associated Press reports, “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.” In addition, his “streams have grown steadily in the last two years.”
Shaunna Thomas, the co-founder and executive director of the women’s advocacy group UltraViolet, told The Associated Press on Monday, “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.”
In addition, more women have come forward with allegation against R. Kelly. In a CBS interview from today (May 22) with a woman named Faith Rodgers, she claims that Kelly purposely infected her with a sexually transmitted disease. In her lawsuit, she says the singer “willfully, deliberately and maliciously” infected her with herpes and that he “mentally, physically and verbally” abused her. She dated him for a year, said she was forced to call him “daddy,” introduced her to one of five women he was “raising” and said he filmed non-consensual sex.
Rodgers filed the lawsuit in Dallas and she is being represented by S. Lee Merritt, who is also representing Sharita Dixon Cole, a woman who claims she was sexually assaulted by a Texas state trooper on Sunday (May 20). Merritt has been getting backlash for representing Rodgers, which he responded to on Twitter, writing, “I have received a great deal of support but some criticism for going after
#rkelly. I’ll say this: ‘The most unprotected person in America is the Black Woman!’ -Malcolm X.” Read his full thread on the criticism here.
It remains to be seen if after more than 24 years of sexual assault allegations, R. Kelly will be affected professionally or personally. He is often defended on social media, he is still performing and while there are many accusations, there has yet to be criminal charges.