R. Kelly May Benefit Financially Despite Industry Splits

Although R. Kelly is no longer represented by his publisher and label following Lifetime’s Jan. 3 release of the documentary Surviving R. Kelly, which detailed allegations of years-long history of sexual assault, Rolling Stone reports that the artist may financially benefit from the event. The six-part series drew around 20 million viewers, caused a social media uproar, topped the news headlines and invoked protests and pressure from music fans and industry professionals for Sony, owner of RCA Record, to part ways with Kelly. Sony announced the separation from R. Kelly on Jan. 18. However, the split with his label is not a major blow to the artist’s career because as the article points out, “both parties will continue to profit off of all past music releases as long as those releases are in distribution.” Additionally, in order to avoid a lawsuit, RCA may have had to make a financial settlement with R. Kelly since he had two albums left on his contract. Although his publishing company, Universal Music Publishing Group, also no longer represents him, the company is still responsible for distributing his past work (681 songs). R. Kelly and his team adamantly deny the allegations. 

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