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R. Kelly (born Robert Sylvester Kelly) is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, and former professional basketball player with over 30 million album sales.  R. Kelly was eventually dropped from RCA Records and indicted on 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse after facing over 20 years of sexual abuse allegations.
On December 20th, 2006 R. Kelly started the RKellyTV YouTube channel which has accumulated 2.3 million subscribers in 15 months. His most popular video is "R. Kelly – Ignition (Remix) (Official Music Video)" uploaded on October 25th, 2009 which has garnered 186 million views, 774,000 likes and 40,000 dislikes in 10 years (shown below).
Surviving R. Kelly
Surviving R. Kelly is a six-part documentary series that explores the sexual misconduct and abuse allegations made against songwriter and recording artist R. Kelly from the perspective of the accusers. The film interviews women who claim that Kelly abused them, as well as members of the music industry.
Many online praised the series. Writer Christina Cole tweeted, "Stellar journalism, stellar filmmaking. But furthermore, just grateful for your resolve to amplify survivor stories and the truth. Thank you and everyone involved for believing black women @dreamhampton. #SurvivingRKelly." The tweet received more than 240 retweets and 1,200 likes in four days (shown below, left). Community organizer Rosa Clemente tweeted, "The fact that 2019 is starting off with @dreamhampton 6 part doc-series Surviving R. Kelly beginning Jan 3-5th on two-hour installments makes me rejoice and know for sure that 2019 is a game changing year. Thank you dream" (shown below, right).
On January 7th, Media Matters editor Cristina López G. accused Facebook of allowing Kelly to "smear" the accusers with the page "Surviving Lies." She tweeted, "Disgusting: Not only is @facebook letting R. Kelly smear sexual assault survivors with this page, the platform is also profiting from the smears with ad money." The tweet received more than 220 retweets and 235 likes in 24 hours (shown below). Before the page could launch, Facebook removed the Surviving Lies page, citing a violation of community standards.
That day, TMZ reported that Kelly had plans to launch a "survivinglies.com" website. The website, as TMZ states, would "attempt to expose all of his accusers as liars as well as reveal their true motivations behind their allegations."
On January 18th, 2019, R. Kelly was removed from the signed musician list on the RCA Records website. No official announcement was made concerning the removal. This decision followed two weeks of #MuteRKelly protests outside the Manhattan Sony building. In the early 1990s, Kelly was signed to Jive records which became part of Sony in 2012. RCA/Sony will keep Kelly's catalog available on digital retailers and streaming services.
On February 14th, 2019, The New Yorker reported on the move to indict R. Kelly in Illinois after officials received a video of Kelly sexually assaulting an underage girl. Attorney Michael Avenatti, former attorney for Stormy Daniels , took to Twitter on January 31st, stating, "Since April, I have been working on the R. Kelly matter. The results of that work will soon be known. We are going to blow this wide open for the sake of each of his victims and one less pedophile will be free. Count on it. #Justice" (shown below). The tweet gained 1,650 retweets and 12,542 likes in a few weeks.
On February 14th, @MichaelAvenatti  posted another tweet with a statement attached stating, "In response to press inquiries, attached is a stmt regarding our work on the R. Kelly matter since April, including the discovery of new critical video evidence establishing his guilt. We will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that this predator is brought to justice" (shown below). The tweet gained 1,406 retweets and 3,746 likes that day. The statement addresses the recent tape and other evidence briefly along with outlining the "painstaking" work that's been done on the case since April 2018.
That same afternoon, Avenatti released another statement to Twitter. It reads, "Below please find a second stmt relating to our investigation of R. Kelly. As a father of two teenage girls myself, I have the utmost faith and confidence in Ms. Foxx and her staff to ensure justice is done" (shown below). The tweet was retweeted 487 times and like 1,400 times that day. The statement describes the recently submitted tape in more detail.
On February 22, State's Attorney Kim Foxx announced the charges against Kelly at a news conference that was live streamed by ABC News (shown below). A Cook County judge has approved a no-bail arrest warrant. He was charged with 10 counts of criminal sexual abuse. Kelly turned himself in that day and pleaded not guilty. Bond was set at $1 million.
On February 25th, a 47-year-old woman "friend" of Kelly's from Chicago posted the $100,000 bail.  The Judge forbid Kelly from having contact with any female minors until his March court date.
On that same day, Attorney Michael Avenatti responded with a Tweet saying "I can confirm that we represent 2 whistleblowers, 2 parents, and 3 victims in the R. Kelly matter. 2 of the victims are included within the indictment issued last week. I anticipate additional charges will be filed in the coming weeks" (shown below, left). The tweet gained 697 retweets and 4,600 likes in a day. On February 26th, Avenatti tweeted again reporting that "Upon being released from jail on bond, R Kelly promptly went to the same McDonalds that he preyed on underage girls at for years and proceeded to meet and take pictures with underage girls in violation of his bail conditions… " (shown below, right). The tweet garnered 3,400 retweets and 8,600 likes in a day.
On February 26th, Twitter user Nadar Dissa tweeted pictures and videos R. Kelly's escapades after his release on bond (shown below).
R. Kelly's second stop after jail is a cigar lounge on the Gold Coast. Two women who appeared to be Joycelyn Savage and Azriel Clary just walked in after him. pic.twitter.com/IVHK48dnmL— Nader Issa (@NaderDIssa) February 26, 2019
On July 11th, 2019, federal agents and New York detectives arrested Kelly on charges related to child ponography, sex trafficking and other charges, according to the New York Times. The 13-count indictment included "enticement of a minor and obstruction of justice, in addition to the child pornography charges." Additionally, federal prosecutors charged Kelly with "one count of racketeering and four counts of violating the Mann Act." According to the report, Kelly was named as the head of an enterprise that "included his managers, bodyguards, drivers and members of his entourage," which aimed to enlist women and girls for illegal sexual activity.
According to TMZ, the indictment stated victims "were not permitted to leave their room without receiving permission from Kelly, including to eat or go to the bathroom" and were forced to keep their heads down and call Kelly "daddy" (tweet below, left).
That day, Twitter ABC reporter Derick Waller tweeted an image of the indictment, which detailed the rules Kelly allegedly had for his victims (shown below, right). They wrote, "Unsealed Federal indictment claims R. Kelly selected 'woman and girls' to follow him on tour and forced them in hotel rooms where they couldn’t eat or use the bathroom without his permission and had to refer to him as 'Daddy.'"
Some online expressed their excitement regarding the new charges. Twitter user @TheJessieWoo tweeted a video of a woman singing "you going to jail." The post received more than 630 likes and 200 retweets.
That day, Twitter published a Moments page on the arrest.
Me. Every time I hear about R Kelly getting locked up 🙌🏿💃🏿 pic.twitter.com/03BFKmYBfh
— 🇭🇹Seeester Targaryen🇭🇹 (@TheJessieWoo) July 12, 2019
Ignition (Remix) is a 2003 hit single by R&B singer and songwriter R. Kelly, which has inspired many covers, parodies and remixes on YouTube.
The song was released on January 22nd, 2003 as a single for R. Kelly’s fifth studio album Chocolate Factory. The track became a commercial success, peaking at the #2 position on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
On March 26th, 2003, a parody of the song was featured in an episode of the Comedy Central sketch comedy television series Chappelle's Show, which mocked a video that had surfaced in 2002 of a man fitting R. Kelly's description engaging in sexual intercourse and urinating on an underage girl. On August 14th, 2008, YouTuber pbdyjr uploaded an "Ignition (Remix)" parody video mocking R. Kelly's statutory rape charges (shown below, left). Within five years, the video received over 75,000 views and 80 comments. On April 6th, 2009, YouTuber andye1221 uploaded a video featuring two men performing a choreographed dance to the song (shown below, right). The video gained upwards of 90,000 views and 120 comments within the next four years.
Trapped In the Closet
Trapped in the Closet is a series of songs and music videos by the R&B singer-songwriter and record producer R. Kelly. The series was heavily parodied in the media and online due to the absurd situations and subject matter.
The first chapter of of "Trapped in the Closet" was released on April 5th, 2005, which tells the story of the narrator Sylvester (played by Kelly) who awakes in a woman's bed after meeting her the previous night at a club. When he attempts to leave, her husband arrives and she urges him to hide in the closet. The videos for the first five chapters were released from May to June of 2005.
R. Kelly's seventh studio album TP.3 Reloaded was released on July 5th, 2005, which included the first five chapters of the series. On July 15th, Jimmy Kimmel aired a parody titled "The Pizza," which was released bi-weekly in six chapters.
On August 2nd, Something Awful published a Cliff's Notes summary of the first five chapters. On August 10th, the DIY filmmaker website No Film School (now removed) released a remix of the first five chapters titled "Out of the Closet," which re-sequenced Kelly's own words to sound as if he was singing about his sexual exploits with men. On October 2nd, 2005, the sketch comedy television show MADtv aired a parody titled "Trapped in the Cupboard," in which Kelly (played by Jordan Peele) argues with his wife over breakfast cereal (shown below).
 The New York Times – U.S. Prosecutors File New Charges, Including Child Pornography, Against R. Kelly
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