While embattled R&B star R. Kelly has been bombarded with negative press in the days leading up to, during, and following the airing of the explosive Lifetime documentary, ‘Surviving R. Kelly,’ his dedicated fans have not only opened their mouths to voice their ongoing support but their wallets as well.
As we reported here, the 52-year-old celebrated a sales and streaming spike just one day after the show’s first two-part episode premiered. By the time the docuseries aired its finale, Kellz enjoyed an even more impressive boost.
On Jan. 5, the third and final day of the airing of Surviving R. Kelly, on-demand streams of Kelly’s music rose by 116 percent in the U.S., according to Nielsen Music, as compared to his streams on Jan. 2, the day before the series began.
Kelly’s catalog of songs collected 4.3 million streams (audio and video combined) on Jan. 5, up from 1.9 million on Jan. 2.
Now, just hours after Lady Gaga went on record to announce her intent to remove her R.Kelly-featured hit, ‘Do What U Want,’ from digital services, fans have zoomed to iTunes in droves to purchase it. Details inside:
As we reported here, Gaga – after days of pressure from fans to denounce the ‘Bump N Grind’ star – issued a statement to affirm her position in solidarity with his accusers and discuss the status of her song with him, ‘Do What U Want’ (found aboard her 2013 ‘ArtPop’ album).
“I intend to remove this song off of iTunes and other streaming platforms and will not be working with him [Kelly] again,” said Gaga.
The announcement apparently set fans into a frenzy. Just hours later, the tune – nearly 6 years old – zoomed to the top 15 of iTunes charts and sits at #11 currently (as of time of this report’s publishing).
Having peaked at #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 around the time of its release despite no official video released on its behalf, the renewed interest – which sees it outperforming some of today’s top sellers – could cement its re-entry onto charts next week.
Update (as of 6p CST): The song has officially been removed from iTunes.