On Friday, R. Kelly’s apparent new album hit streaming services. Only, its origins are mysterious.
Anyone browsing the singer’s discography on Spotify and Apple Music today may have briefly come across an evidently new collection of music released today (9 December), titled ‘I Admit’. Except, he’s currently serving a 30-year prison sentence after being found guilty of sex trafficking in September 2021.
With no way of releasing music from behind bars, representatives of Sony Music - the company that owns the rights to the majority of his tracks - highlighted that the album found its way to the platform in an unofficial way.
The record label confirmed to Variety that the release was a ‘bootleg’ despite the copyright line on the album reading ‘Legacy Recordings’, which is a catalogue division looked after by Sony Music.
A representative of the entertainment company confirmed to the outlet that the release was not legitimate, but was unable to provide further details on how it appeared on the sites.
This afternoon, the album was removed from Spotify and Apple Music, with a representative of Sony Music adding: “This content has been removed from the platform at the request of the distributor.”
Meanwhile, a legal representative of Kelly, Jennifer Bonjean, told the publication that the singer is dealing with ‘having intellectual property stolen from him.’
Wtf R kelly dropping new music??? 💀💀 pic.twitter.com/c1hKmYoOZf— keep6ixsolid (@keep6ixsolid) December 9, 2022
Kelly was found guilty of all nine counts against him, including racketeering, the sexual exploitation of children, forced labour and Mann Act violations involving the coercion and transportation of women and girls in interstate commerce to engage in illegal sexual activity.
At the time, Kelly pleaded not guilty to all charges against him but did not take the stand in the high-profile court case.
But a jury of seven men and five women found him guilty of racketeering in a verdict announced Monday.
Several accusers testified in lurid detail during the trial, alleging that Kelly subjected them to perverse and sadistic whims when they were underage.
For years, the public and news media seemed to be more amused than horrified by allegations of inappropriate relationships with minors, starting with Kelly’s illegal marriage to the R&B phenom Aaliyah in 1994 when she was just 15.
His records and concert tickets kept selling. Other artists continued to record his songs, even after he was arrested in 2002 and accused of making a recording of himself sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl.
At the trial, several of Kelly’s accusers testified without using their real names to protect their privacy and prevent possible harassment by the singer’s fans.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact The Survivor’s Trust for free on 08088 010 818, or through their website thesurvivorstrust.org