'I'll always listen to him with pride': Some R. Kelly fans won't mute his music

Activists around the world have called on music streaming platforms to remove R. Kelly's music and for listeners to stop streaming it on platforms where it was still available after he was convicted of sex crimes.

Singer R. Kelly. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Despite being a convicted sexual abuser, it seems that some fans of disgraced R&B star Robert "R" Kelly are sticking to their guns and holding onto every note the singer has produced by not muting his music.

A Chicago native, who soared to global celebrity status on a burst of megahits in the 1990s, for years R. Kelly endured as one of R&B's top stars, even as he faced a slew of sex abuse allegations.

But now, nearly 30 years after he was first documented to have abused a minor, the 54-year-old artist faces up to life in prison after a New York jury convicted him of running a criminal ring that trapped teenagers and women in a web of sexual, emotional and physical abuse.

The three-time Grammy winner born has sold over 75 million records globally, making him one of the most commercially successful R&B musicians ever, with hits like I Believe I Can Fly and Ignition (Remix).

Activists around the world have called on music streaming platforms to remove his music and for listeners to stop streaming it on platforms where it is still available.

Despite this, it has been previously reported that R. Kelly’s music sales have jumped 517% since he was found guilty of federal sex crimes.

Listeners on 702's Clement Manyathela Show shared why they won't mute R. Kelly.

"R Kelly disgusts me as a person but with his music, you would be basically asking me to remove the past 25 years of my life. I have been listening to Brandy and R. Kelly, he is one of my favourite singers," said a caller named Lehlohonolo.

"I have always listened to his music and I will always listen to him with pride. It's the music I love, not the man. What he did was despicable but his music just gets to me," said another named Bongani.

Listen to the full conversation in the audio below.

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