R. Kelly Biography

Review The Artist (92)

R. Kelly-photo
Urban R&B producer/vocalist/multi-instrumentalist/songwriter R. Kelly and his supporting band Public Announcement began recording in 1992 at the tail end of the new jack swing era, yet he was able to keep much of its sound alive while remaining commercially successful. While he created a smooth, professional mixture of hip-hop beats, soul-man crooning, and funk, the most distinctive element of Kelly's music is its explicit carnality. He was able to make songs like "Sex Me," "Bump n' Grind," "Your Body's Callin'," and "Feelin' on Yo Booty" into hits because his production was seductive enough to sell such blatant come-ons. As his crossover success broadened, Kelly also developed a flair for pop balladry that helped cement his status as one of the biggest-selling male artists of the '90s.
Kelly and Public Announcement released their debut album, Born Into the 90's, at the beginning of 1992. It was an instant R&B smash, while earning a fair amount of pop airplay; "Honey Love" and "Slow Dance (Hey Mr. DJ)" were number one R&B hits, while "Dedicated" was his biggest pop hit at number 31. 12 Play, released in the fall of 1993, established Kelly as an R&B superstar, eventually selling over five million copies. The first single, "Sex Me, Pts. I & II," went gold, and the second, "Bump n' Grind," hit number one on both the pop and R&B charts in 1994; it stayed on top of the R&B charts for an astonishing 12 weeks, while logging four weeks at number one the pop charts. The follow-up, "Your Body's Callin'," was another gold single, peaking at number 13 pop. Also in 1994, he produced Age Ain't Nothing But a Number, the hit debut album for then 15-year-old Detroit R&B singer Aaliyah. Late in the year, it was revealed that Kelly and Aaliyah had wed in August and gotten an annulment shortly thereafter. The news sparked a small storm of controversy in the media, yet it didn't hurt the careers of either singer. Kelly next wrote and co-produced "You Are Not Alone," the second single from Michael Jackson's HIStory album, which was released in the summer of 1995. Later that year, Kelly released a self-titled album which became his first to top the pop charts. R. Kelly sold four million copies and produced three platinum singles -- "You Remind Me of Something," "Down Low (Nobody Has to Know)," and "I Can't Sleep Baby (If I)" -- all of which hit number one R&B and reached the pop Top Ten.

Kelly truly consolidated his crossover success with the 1996 single "I Believe I Can Fly," which he recorded for the Michael Jordan movie Space Jam. Transcending Kelly's prior sexed-up image, the song reached number two on the pop charts and won Grammy Awards for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance, Best R&B Song, and Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or for Television. Kelly remained in the public eye in 1997 with another Top Ten soundtrack tune, Batman & Robin's "Gotham City." The ambitious two-disc R. followed in 1998, and even though it downplayed the explicit lover-man routine that had made him a star, it became Kelly's biggest-selling album yet, going platinum seven times over. Its first single, a duet with Celine Dion titled "I'm Your Angel," became Kelly's second number one pop hit with a six-week run on top. Even though subsequent singles "When a Woman's Fed Up" and "If I Could Turn Back the Hands of Time" were more successful on the R&B charts, Kelly was well on his way to landing more Top 40 hits in the '90s than any other male solo artist, and notched another with his guest appearance on Puff Daddy's R&B chart-topper "Satisfy You." Moving his blockbuster success into a new decade, Kelly returned in 2000 with TP-2.com, which spent three weeks at number one on the album charts and scaled back the ambition of R. to return to familiar lyrical themes. He scored two more R&B number ones with "I Wish" and "Fiesta" (the latter featuring guest Jay-Z), and had further hits with "Feelin' on Yo Booty" and "The World's Greatest," the latter from the soundtrack of the Will Smith film Ali.

In the wake of "Fiesta," Kelly and Jay-Z teamed up to record an entire album together. The Best of Both Worlds was heavily hyped and even more heavily bootlegged, but problems of a much more serious nature arose in February 2002, when the Chicago Sun-Times reported that it had been given a videotape showing Kelly having sex with a 14-year-old girl. When the scandal broke, other reports surfaced that Kelly had settled a civil suit in 1998 involving a sexual relationship with a then-underage girl, and that he was in the process of settling another suit brought by an Epic Records intern making similar allegations. Copies of the tape in question were sold as bootlegs and on the Internet, and while there was some question as to whether the man was really Kelly, and whether the girl really was underage, Kelly's past history seemed to lend credence to the charge. Some radio stations dropped him from their play lists, and anti-Kelly protests were staged in Chicago. Meanwhile, The Best of Both Worlds entered the charts at number two, but sold disappointingly; some blamed the scandal, others the extensive pre-release bootlegging, although the generally unfavorable reviews suggested that the record's overall quality might also have been to blame.

Following the initial sex-tape scandal, Kelly was dogged by numerous civil suits, including one from a girl who alleged that during her relationship with Kelly (which occurred while she was underage), she had become pregnant and gotten an abortion at the singer's urging. A variety of other sex videos purporting to feature Kelly appeared as bootlegs, and a onetime Kelly protégée, a singer called Sparkle, stepped forward to identify the girl on the original tape as her then-14-year-old niece. In June, Chicago police officially charged Kelly with 21 counts of child pornography-related offenses, all related to the original tape. Kelly pleaded not guilty and released a new song, "Heaven, I Need a Hug," which got extensive airplay for a brief period.

Meanwhile, work on his next album, Loveland, stalled amid more heavy bootlegging. Kelly eventually scrapped some of the most pirated tracks, recorded some new songs, and reassembled the album as Chocolate Factory (which was slated to include a bonus disc with some of the deleted material). Released in advance of the album, lead single "Ignition" shot to number one on the R&B charts in late 2002. Chocolate Factory itself was released in early 2003, and followed in 2004 by Happy People/U Saved Me. Surprisingly, despite reports of a feud with Jay-Z, later in 2004 another album was released from The Best of Both Worlds sessions. Weeks before his child pornography trial the following year, TP.3 Reloaded was released, featuring the first five chapters of his soapy "Trapped in the Closet" saga. Double Up followed (in 2007).

Thanks to samuel nelson - sugbene@yahoo.com for submitting the biography.

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The R/B Man Of Soul | Reviewer: lori v | 7/1/14

One of the greatest singers of all time..no matter
What he has been through.God always put him back on top..I love all of his song..keep up the good work. ..May God continue to bless u and ur family

Kells u da best and still is | Reviewer: Alerris From MIlwaukee | 3/28/14

People now days think that I am too young to be listening to music that you have produces through your career. all of your music is great to me and I am saying that and I am only 14 years old I would really like to meet my favorite Icon because I sing to and I am very good at it its a real talent that I have. Anyways keep being you and continue to be the greatest rnb artist to have ever walked this earth.

Mr. Kelly King! | Reviewer: Oyuk Davestone | 9/25/13

We are so honoured to have shared this world with the 'word's greatest' people like you, Kelly!
I feel it as God's special favour. I am still working so hard at meeting u some day! I hope God brings u to Uganda some day when i am still alive! I would spend my last penny just to have a glimpse of this music genius by the names of Robert Kelly.

Thanks for your hard work
Davestone (oyuk.davidl@gmail.com)

I can't sleep baby | Reviewer: Kadija | 9/13/13

Robert you are one of the best when it comes to RnB. I love all your tracks especially 'I can't sleep baby'.If i may asked, who is that girl who made you not to sleep?. I will make you to sleep. I wish i could see you one day and feel you touch only my hand.

just like the way u are | Reviewer: endurance gonzalex | 2/13/13

Your lovely songs has gone a long way 2 affect me positively like your christian song,specially the tract tittle you saved me.I pray God continue to give you the Grace to carry out His word. I love u

Food 4 souls | Reviewer: Sammreal | 2/13/13

Mr kelly will read these my words? I really appreciat God almighty for gvin u ds gracios talent. I had jus download one of my best tracks now. Pls call
lv 2 hear ur voic

If I could make the world dance | Reviewer: Anonymous | 1/25/13

This is a hit and very inspirational the king never fail to touch all his fans with something that will leave them all with the mindset that he is a musical genius. LONG LIVE THE KING.

Kenyans are waiting | Reviewer: Geff Van Cher | 9/28/12

I tackled your songs at the university since all are ma favorites as we were doin literary critical appreciation. The content, rhymes and other components r amazing. Well harmonized carrying substantial themes. Bravo Roberto. +254721816937.

One of the greatest musician ever | Reviewer: Jerry | 9/19/12

The great kells i have always admire ur music since my childhood,u sing like an angel nd i will like to have thesame voice too,kells i have listen to many of ur tracks such as ignition,burn it up nd i wish, those songs are interesting nd am happy to have u as a role model. You can contact me on this line

You are the man | Reviewer: Victor Guaramato | 5/27/12

Hey man, even though many people criticize your song, I want, from my deep inside, say that you are a great singer. We all make mistakes and you cannot escape from that. It is a part of being human beings.
I am not an native English speaker, but my English has improved a lot thanks to your songs. I listen to them so many times that I have achieved a native-like pronunciation and good listening comprehension. I wish I meet you someday. Actually, I am planning to go to Chicago soon.

R Kelly d professor of r&b | Reviewer: Ogedengbe femi | 12/8/11

R Kelly ,u are d professor r&b,i like to always listening to ur music especialy i believe i can fly ,the homing we lost ,chocolate factory,and other gospel music ,i will like to just hear ur voice my phone no is +234080y2370492 my Facebook is ogedengbe john femi@facebook.come.

I love ya kells-long live the king | Reviewer: Alfred Monday Balami | 8/25/11

What's up kells-long live the king.
It all started like this. When i was a little boy, i used to be hearing songs like: storm is over, i believe i can fly, heaven i need a hug, world's greatest, i wish. Etc. I love these songs so much that i wanted to know more about them. To my suprise it was only one talented person the did the songs. From then i can't help but to be kells fan. And i still remain your no1 fan. Me and my mum will sit in the pallow watching you in 'i wish' saying 'common and braid my hair'. My love for i wish made me wrote a song for my mum as well. From then i've been writting songs after songs. It was you that activated what was hidden inside of me. Now, wish i can meet you one on one cos i've always prayed for. All i've ever dreamed of is to be a singer. But how to start is the problem. I wish you could reply this message through my email. It is a pity you came to my country Nigeria but i wasn't able to watch you live cos i was writting my exams. I got a lot to ask you but let me just stop here,
Thanks you sir.

I luv rkelly | Reviewer: Anonymous | 8/21/11

Pls.rkelly u always my mentor & my number 1 pls.contact me on d following numbers +2347030175194 +2348072775663 luv u king of r&b from sanusi,akinola odunayo linguistics department adekunle ajasin university akungba akoko ondo state.

U are my daddy | Reviewer: Anonymous | 8/6/11

R.kelly im a gal of 16 here in s.a i love you daddy my name is vanessa hlokomelo i adore u dad n my dream is to see you before death mwaaah i love al your albumz n sngs here is my facebook username hlokomelo vanessa

Gospel songs | Reviewer: Jacinta williams | 5/31/11

I realy appreciate ur gospel music, sometimes i wonder the kind of talent God gave to u. U r a good composer, a good singer almost all of ur gospel songs r touching and makes one come closer to God, example is U SAVED ME. Pls i want u to keep promoting the gospel and proclaiming Jesus. It's awonderful gift u've got, may God continue to bless u. Amen

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