Facts about R. Kelly

R. Kelly is 55 years old
Born: January 8, 1967
Best known as: The singer of "I Believe" who went to prison for sex trafficking

     
Buy from Amazon.com: Music by R. Kelly

     

R. Kelly Biography

Name at birth: Robert Sylvester Kelly

R. Kelly became a superstar of R&B and pop in the 1990s, but by 2020 he had become more famous for his sex crimes with minors.

In 2022 he was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Kelly dropped out of high school for busking on the streets in Chicago, then helped make a name for himself with talent shows and local performances.

His first big singles in 1993, including “Bump N’ Grind” and “Sex Me,” got plenty of airplay and led to a hot career of lusty lyrics and hip-hop influenced R&B.

Kelly also made a name for himself as a producer, and in 1995 was nominated for a Grammy for Michael Jackson’s “You Are Not Alone,” which he wrote and produced.

Then came Kelly’s monster hit, “I Believe I Can Fly” (1996), from the Space Jam movie soundtrack.

By 2000 R. Kelly had released five studio albums and was on top to the music world as a performer and producer.

His hits include “I Believe” (2001, also used for President Obama’s inauguration), “Ignition (Remix)” (2002) and “Step in the Name of Love (Remix)” (2003).

As a producer, Kelly worked with many artists, including Aaliyah (whom he “married” when she was 15), Janet Jackson, Toni Braxton, Celine Dion, Britney Spears, Whitney Houston and Lady Gaga.

In 2002 a video surfaced that was said to be Kelly abusing a minor (Kelly denied he was the man in the video), and the scandal left the news in short order. While Kelly reached settlements in lawsuits involving accusations of abuse, he also kept on working in the spotlight, touring and producing internationally. In 2008 he was acquitted on child pornography charges.

In 2017 Kelly was accused of involvement in a “sex cult” involving minors. Pressure from years of rumors increased, in the form of documentaries, boycotts and the cold shoulder of corporations.

After a 2019 documentary, , the heat was on. R. Kelly was indicted in 2019 in Chicago and in New York (on the same day) on various charges involving sexual abuse of minors and trafficking.

While still facing charges elsewhere, Kelly was convicted in New York on multiple charges, including sexual exploitation of a child, racketeering and sex trafficking. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison.


     

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