In the wake of the Lifetime’s documentary Surviving R. Kelly, the singer returns to Billboard’s Social 50 chart for the first time in five years, while the late Aaliyah makes her debut on the tally dated Jan. 19.
The Social 50 is powered by data tracked by music analytics company Next Big Sound and ranks the most popular artists on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Wikipedia and Tumblr. The chart’s methodology blends weekly additions of friends/fans/followers along with artist page views and engagement. The chart’s latest tracking week ended Jan. 10.
R. Kelly returns to the Social 50 at No. 11 on the strength of 290,000 hits to his Wikipedia page, according to Next Big Sound, a 2,132 percent increase over the previous week. In addition, he was mentioned 85,000 times on Twitter, 83,000 more times than the preceding frame.
The boosts, of course, stem from the premiere of Surviving R. Kelly, a six-episode Lifetime documentary about the singer that aired Jan. 3-5. The doc discussed sexual abuse allegations against Kelly that go back over two decades and gradually grew in ratings throughout its run time, eventually snagging 2.29 million viewers for its final episode.
All the while, the series was oft-discussed in the news and on social media, and on Jan. 10, the office of Kim Foxx, Cook County, Ill.’s state’s attorney, said it was investigating some of the claims made in the documentary.
Kelly reaches the Social 50 for the first time since the list dated Jan. 4, 2014, when he reached a new peak of No. 43. At the time, Kelly was promoting the December 2013 release of his album Black Panties. He had also been experiencing pop chart success thanks to his feature on Lady Gaga‘s “Do What U Want,” which rose 10-8 on the Pop Songs airplay chart dated Jan. 4, 2014. (Gaga herself, for the record, moves 14-9; on Jan. 10, the tail end of the tracking week for the Social 50, she released a statement about Kelly’s appearance on the song.)
I stand by anyone who has ever been the victim of sexual assault: pic.twitter.com/67sz4WpV3i
— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) January 10, 2019
Related to Kelly’s return to the chart is the debut of Aaliyah at No. 36. The late R&B singer reaches the list thanks to 202,000 Wikipedia views, a gain of 822 percent. Aaliyah returned to the news due to the premiere of Surviving R. Kelly, which partially covered her relationship and subsequent marriage to Kelly in the mid-1990s; their marriage was annulled in 1995.
Aaliyah died Aug. 25, 2001, at 22 years old of a plane crash in the Bahamas.