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R. Kelly still popular on Spotify, TikTok despite guilty verdict: Data

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Multiplatinum R&B artist R. Kelly was found guilty on all nine counts against him, but the singer is still popular on music streaming apps and social media sites, new data shows. Yahoo Finance's Alexandra Canal breaks down the latest.

Video Transcript

ZACK GUZMAN: Yeah, elsewhere, Allie, let's shift from famous to infamous here. As we saw earlier this week, R. Kelly found guilty in his trial around sex trafficking and racketeering. And we've talked about before with other celebrities who've run into issues, kind of the way that you separate the artist from the art. What has kind of been the impact after we've seen that when it comes to maybe streaming R. Kelly's music?

ALEXANDRA CANAL: Yeah. That's a big question. As you mentioned, on Monday, R&B artist R. Kelly was found guilty on all nine counts against him, including racketeering and eight violations of an anti-sex trafficking law known as the Mann Act.

Now, in May of 2018, Spotify did go ahead and remove the artist from its curated playlists. The platform said at the time that it wants its editorial decisions to reflect their values. However, according to a recent report from music analytics platform ChartMetric, R. Kelly still appears on a significant number of Spotify editorial playlists. That number's at around 300 right now, with a spike in playlist ads happening around August of 2020.

Now, in addition to Spotify, we also have playlist spikes with both Amazon Music as well as Apple Music. And since his September 27 conviction, R. Kelly's editorial playlists have remained relatively stagnant. Yet the events seem to have reminded people to add R. Kelly to their own personal playlists. About 300 to 400 user-generated lists featuring the rapper popped up between September 27 and September 29.

And what you're seeing on your screen right now is a Spotify popularity index. And that's a normalized metric the platform uses to curate playlists. That has dropped from 77 to 69. That number's out of 100. Since March of 2018-- however, that popularity level has remained relatively consistent since that time period.

For greater context here, he maintains a similar level of Spotify popularity with some other big name artists like Will Smith. He's at around 72. Zendaya at 73. And Fifth Harmony, 75.

One last interesting note here is that he also seems to be very popular on social media sites, especially TikTok. We have Charlie D'Amelio, Addison Rae using his music and a lot of that content. Some of the biggest tracks include "I believe I Can Fly," "On the Floor," and "Ignition." Overall, ChartMetric said that it seems like if you're in Hollywood, if you're in the music space, any publicity is good publicity. In the case for R. Kelly, that does seem to be true.

ZACK GUZMAN: Yeah. I think he's got some other issues to worry about there. But Allie Canal bringing us the latest there in this week's Fame and Fortune. Appreciate that.