R. Kelly, the writer, and producer behind some of music’s biggest songs, is almost broke. The trial has revealed more than his disturbing sexual deviations, but also that his finances are in shambles.
According to the Billboard article “R. Kelly’s Publishing Catalog Is for Sale, But What’s It Worth?” the “Bump N’ Grind” artist may have to sell his publishing catalog just to stay afloat.
His attorney Deveraux Cannick shared with the court that his client’s “funds are depleted.”
Despite Kelly’s catalog having hits-upon hits, no one will buy it at full price the report notes. The investigation revealed the music publishing “would likely only sell at an eight- to 10-times multiple, or between $8.4 million and $10.5 million.”
And if he is found guilty in this current case … you can forget about it.
Billboard spoke to Hipgnosis Songs Fund founder and CEO of The Family (Music) Ltd, Merck Mercuriadis who said that R. Kelly’s team has been trying to sell his portion of his catalog to get some fast cash.
“It [Kelly’s catalogue] has been offered to me a number of times by his team, and of course, I’ve said no for the obvious reasons,” Mercuriadis said to Billboard.
The problem is … with cancel culture, who is listening to “Step in The Name of Love?” What elementary school is singing at their graduation, “I Believe I Can Fly?”
Mercuriadis continued, “There are incredible songs in that catalog, but why would you take that kind of risk?”
Another company, who passed on copping the rights to the music a couple of years ago, said that they “wouldn’t go near it with a 10-foot pole.”
This is not new news. The Chicago native’s money was drying up last year as creditors started to smack him with lawsuits.
Midwest Commercial Funding, his Near West Side landlord for his old residence/ studio, was able to secure a $3.5 million judgment for unpaid rent. A woman that sued the disgraced entertainer in Cook County was awarded $4 million after a court found him guilty of sexual abuse.
As of this year, Billboard estimates that he has roughly $1.7 million in a “royalties account” from RCA for R. Kelly but the label was at one point unsure who should get the payout. Both RCA and Universal Music Publishing Group have severed ties with the performing artist, although the two companies still own rights to his work.
R. Kelly’s hefty pockets allegedly helped him lure young women and girls into his trap and pay for people to accommodate his nefarious activities.
Billboard unpacks his money sources, the costliness of his sexual abuse, sex trafficking, racketeering & other charges and aims to figure out what this really means to the singer’s estate. With their investigative report, the site tries to explain if his finances are simply a shell of yesteryear’s glory.