R. Kelly is reportedly in desperate need of money and is looking to sell his entire catalog for below market value just to make ends meet.
Earlier this month, R. Kelly’s lawyer Devereaux Cannick revealed that the singer funds are “depleted” at a court hearing, requesting free trial transcripts for his client. According to Billboard, Kelly’s catalog generates around $1.7 million a year in the United States but only a small portion of this amount actually hits Kelly’s account. This in addition to his ongoing criminal cases and civil battles leaves the singer strapped for cash.
Although R. Kelly is responsible for several global smashes, the value of his music catalog has plummeted in recent years. The trial and his alleged crimes has turned people away from his music, making the #MuteRKelly campaign a successful initiative.
Unfortunately for the singer, it doesn’t seem like things will be turning in his favor anytime soon. R. Kelly’s trial for criminal conspiracy and sex trafficking charges began last week in New York City. He also has additional cases in New York as well as pending trials in Illinois and Minnesota. As a result, it’s unlikely that Kelly’s catalog will ever become valuable enough again for him to sell it. Also, it wouldn’t be the best business move for someone to buy Kelly’s music—especially when the singer’s own record label, Sony Music, has cut ties with him.
“It has been offered to me a number of times by his team, and of course, I’ve said no for the obvious reasons,” says Merck Mercuriadis, Hipgnosis Songs Fund founder and CEO of The Family (Music) Ltd. “There are incredible songs in that catalog,” he adds. “but why would you take that kind of risk?”