R. Kelly

One of the well-known American singer, songwriter, and record producer is Robert Sylvester Kelly who is popular by the name of R. Kelly. He is a native of Chicago and is a former professional basketball player as well. He was signed to play professional basketball making him the first musician to play basketball professionally. He has a large collection of single albums which are the major hits.

He has released 12 solo studio albums. Some of his hit singles are  “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)”, and the hip-hopera “Trapped in the Closet”. He is the winner of 3 Grammy Awards, 6 NAACP Image Awards, 11 Soul Train Awards, 2 American Music Awards, and 1 BET Awards. He has also won numerous Billboard Music Awards, a Guinness World Records, and countless nominations. He has influenced numerous hip-hop and contemporary R&B due to his distinctive sound and style.

Best Known For

  • He is considered one of the best-selling music artists of all time.
  • He is the fifth black best-selling music artist in the United States, recognized by RIAA.
  • He is named the most successful R&B artist of the last 25 years, recognized by Billboard.

Kelly’s Early Life

Kelly was born on 8 January 1967 at Hyde Park, Chicago, Illinois. As Kelly’s mother, Joanne was a single mother, information about his father is not available. Her mother was also a singer. She passed away in 1993. He has three siblings. He holds an American nationality. He had a poor childhood. At the age of eight, he began to sing in the church choir. He lived in a place full of women where when his mother and grandparents were not at home would act differently. He was also sexually abused by a woman who was 10 years older than him. He was also shot at the age of 11 while he was riding the bike and the bullet is reportedly still in his shoulder.

He attended Kenwood Academy in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood in 1981. He was a popular basketball player at high school.

Kelly’s Body Features

Kelly’s height is 1.85 m and his weight is estimated to be 91 kg. His hair color is black and his eye color is dark brown. He has a balanced and healthy body.

Kelly’s Career

Before 1992

Kelly started street performing under the Chicago “L” tracks. He then formed a group, MGM (Musically Gifted Men) in 1989 with his friends March McWilliams, Vincent Walker, and Shawn Brooks. He got a breakthrough when his MGM friends participated in the talent TV show Big Break, where Kelly won the $100,000 grand prize. After the release of the group’s first single, “Why You Wanna Play Me”, the group disbanded. He signed with Jive Records in 1991 and joined the Chicago group, Public Announcement.


 His debut album, Born in the ’90s was released in early 1992. He left the group in January 1993. His first solo album titled, 12 Play was released on 9 November 1993. It was the number one in Billboard Hot R& B. 12 Play was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). He then wrote and produced an album for protege Aaliyah on 24 May 1994. In 1995, he was nominated for Grammy Awards for writing, producing, and composing “You Are Not Alone” for Michael Jackson. He released his eponymous second studio album in November 1995.

He also released an inspirational song, “I Believe I Can Fly”, the soundtrack for the film Space Jam on 26 November 1996. The song later won Kelly three Grammy Awards in 1998.


     To play professional basketball Kelly signed a contract in 1997 with the Atlantic City. He wore the jersey number 12 in honor of his album 12 Play. There was a clause contained in the contract that he could leave the team to fulfill the music obligation whenever necessary. He is the first professional basketball player in music artist. He produced and wrote a debut album for protégé Sparkle in 1998. He released his fourth studio album on 17 November 1998 and his fifth studio album TP-2.com on 7 November 2000. He won the Outstanding Achievement Award at MOBO Awards in 2001.


     Kelly performed at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics. Kelly’s joint album with Jay-Z, The Best of Both Worlds was leaked in February 2002. His sixth studio album, Loveland was also leaked in May 2002 and was delayed to release in November May 2002. He then re-recorded the entire album and titled it, Chocolate Factory. But in early 2003 it became a success. He released his first greatest hits collection, The R in R&B Collection Volume 1 in the same year. He released two-disc, Happy People/U Saved Me in 2004. His other collaborative album with Jay-Z, Unfinished Business was released in 2004. Kelly released his seventh studio, TP.3 Reloaded in 2005.


                    Kelly started The Light It Up Tour which became his first concert DVD in 2006. He released his eighth studio album, Double Up on 29 May 2007. Kelly did not release an album for quite a time but he kept himself busy in the studio doing featured guest spots on numerous remixes. He released his first-ever mixtape, The Demo Tape (Gangsta Grillz) on 3 June 2009. He also released his new album titled, Untitled in December 2009. The same month, he got teamed up with a biographer to write his memoirs, Soulacoaster. It was released in 2012.


    Kelly performed the song at the 2010 FIFA World Cup opening ceremony on June 11, 2010. He released three new albums in September 2010. He published the tenth album, Love Letter on 14 December 2010. In 2011 March he was named R & B artist of the last 25 years by Billboard. On 19 July 2011, he was rushed to the hospital to undergo surgery of his throat. He signed on to write the original music on 23 September 2011. He made his first performance after throat surgery, as he performed live on The X Factor (U.S.) on 21 December 2011. On 18 February 2012, he performed at Whitney Houston’s memorial. On  26 June 2012, he released his eleventh studio album, Write Me Back.


Kelly performed his duet with Lady Gaga on 16 November 2013. He released his twelfth studio album, Black Panties in December 2013. He announced to make a film debut as a director and producer in 2014. On 14 July 2015, he announced The Buffet on September 25, 2015. He released his first Christmas album which is his fourteenth studio album, 12 Nights of Christmas on 21 October 2016.

Kelly’s Personal Life


Kelly is currently single. Previously, he was married twice.

He married his first wife Aaliyah in 1994. Kelly discovered and established Aaliyah in the music industry. Their marriage did not last much longer. He reportedly married Aaliyah illegally in a secret wedding ceremony in 1994, as Aaliyah was reportedly 15-years old then. Their marriage was annulled in 1995.

He then married his former backup dancer, Andrea Kelly in 1996. He separated with his second wife in 2005. His second wife Andrea filed a restraining order against him in September 2005. Their divorce was finalized later in 2009. In 2018, Andrea alleged to Kelly that he physically abused her several times.

He has three children.

He was alleged and charged on 21 counts of child pornography, and involvement in sexual activities with minors in 2002. Following the long trial, he was acquitted of all charges in 2008 due to a lack of enough evidence.

Net Worth

Kelly is one of the successful music artists of all time. He is considered one of the best-selling artists. He has sold over 75 million albums and singles worldwide. He has earned a mouthwatering fortune producing music. As of 2018, his net worth is estimated to be $150 million.

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