R. Kelly was born on the south side of Chicago, Illinois, and attended Kenwood Academy High School, where his music teacher-mentor Lena McLin inspired him to become a singer. He used to sing on street corners. He started off his career with a group by the name of Public Announcement. R. Kelly a master producer, composer, and performer and is often associated with music that can be described as spiritually inspirational and extremely sexual. R. Kelly won acclaim with his production of the late Aaliyah's debut album, "Age Ain't Nothin but a Number." Aaliyah, then 15, soon found herself with a hit album and fending off rumors of an alleged nuptial to Kelly who was then in his mid-20s. Their marriage was annulled shortly afterward, and all ties between Aaliyah and Kelly were severed. Kelly went on to produce several more smash hit albums and songs for soundtracks, such as "I Believe I Can Fly" from Space Jam (1996); "World's Greatest" for the 1996 summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia; and a duet with French-Canadian pop diva Céline Dion, which catapulted him to more success. Kelly soon married Andrea Lee, who was a former back-up dancer, and had two daughters and one son.
R. Kelly, at the pinnacle of his success, decided to team up with another music industry leader, the hip-hop MC Jay Z, after great commercial successes on other collaborations with tracks such as Jay-Z's "Not Guilty" and Kelly's "Fiesta Remix." In 2001 to do an entire album together. Slated to be a guaranteed success, "The Best of Both Worlds" was the most highest anticipated album for 2002. Shortly after that year began began, and right before the release of "Best of Both Worlds," an alleged videotape of Kelly with a 14-year-old girl surfaced on the Internet and the streets of major cities.
Allegedly, Kelly was involved in sexual intercourse with a minor on the tape submitted to Chicago Police by former protégé, R&B singer Sparkle. Sparkle claimed the girl was her niece and the God-daughter of R. Kelly's wife. This opened up an avenue of backlash from radio stations and fans across the USA, who refused to continue to play, buy, or support R. Kelly's music. "Best of Both Worlds" was a commercial failure in comparison to its previous rumors of certain success. Jay-Z refused to comment or release a video for their record, and he also thought it would be better for Kelly to take time to sort out his problems. In a May 2002 BET News interview with Ed Gordon, R. Kelly denied the allegations vehemently, stating he would not watch the videotape; he declined to comment on his relationship with Aaliyah. He also stated that he had been receiving help for his "problem" from the Chicago reverend James Meeks, and he wasn't the monster that the public was making him out to be.
On June 5th, 2002, rumors surfaced that Kelly would be indicted on 21 counts of child pornography. After an alleged agreement between Kelly's attorneys and the Chicago Police for Kelly to be able to turn himself in, a fugitive warrant was issued for his arrest in Florida, and R. Kelly was arrested and was extradited to Chicago. Even though the attorney for the four women who were suing R. Kelly--one a former back-up dancer who also appeared on the scandalous videotape (who was an adult during the making of the tape)--stated that she thought that due to the weak legal system, Kelly would not be convicted but did hope he got some help. Kelly could have faced up to 15 years in prison and be forced to pay a fine of US$100.000, register as a sexual offender, and pay millions more in damages. Kelly reportedly stated that he had faith in the justice system and was happy to finally get a chance to defend himself in court. Kelly was eventually acquitted.
In 2003, Kelly released the song "Snake," from the successful album "Chocolate Factory," which became the basis for the reggae riddim called "Baghdad." 2004, Kelly once again teamed up with Jay-Z for the album "Unfinished Business." Like their previous album recorded together, this one also flopped. In 2005, however, Kelly released the album "TP.3," which included the first five chapters of an extended song called Trapped in the Closet: Chapters 1-12 (2005). A strange, bold, and daring experiment in a sort-of R&B aria-meets-soap-opera, an unintended homage to and heavily influenced by The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964), the entire saga, which has no end in sight but currently has twelve released chapters--and supposedly as many as 34 chapters have been recorded, might be one of the most unusual experiments in pop music of the decade, further testament to Kelly's undeniable talent.
Full Name at Birth
Robert Sylvester Kelly
King of R&B
Date of Birth
Frequently wears a Zorro mask
Singer, songwriter, actor, record producer, pro basketball player
Claim to Fame
Bump N' Grind, Your Body's Callin', I Believe I Can Fly, Gotham City, Ignition (Remix), If I Could Turn Back the Hands of Time, The World's Greatest, I'm a Flirt (Remix), Trapped in the Closet
Red Light Management