Robert Sylvester Kelly was born on January 8, 1967, on Chicago’s south side. He skipped high school to pursue a career as a subway musician. When he won a $100,000 award on the television talent show Big Break, he got his big break. Kelly and his band Public Announcement signed with Jive Records in 1991 and released the album “Born into the 90s” in 1993.
Kelly began his singing career in 1991, following years of street performances in Chicago. He obtained a deal with Jive Records and released his debut album, Born Into The ’90s, the following year. With the tracks “Slow Dance (Hey Mr. Dj)” and “Honey Love,” his debut album was a huge success.
Bump N’ Grind, his first No. 1 pop single, was released in 1993. He continued to live up to his nickname “Prince of Pillowtalk” after his mother died. He was dubbed the “King of R&B” and recorded the breakthrough single “I Believe I Can Fly” in 1996, which garnered him three Grammy awards in 1997.
Kelly has worked with musicians from all across the world, including Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, and Gladys Knight.
In the 1990s, he remained the king of R&B. He released his album “R” in 1998, which had a duet with Celine Dion called “I’m Your Angel,” which went on to sell over 7 million copies.
Kelly and Sean “Puffy” Combs hit the charts with “Satisfy You” in 1999, and two years later, Kelly teamed up with rap legend Jay-Z for “Fiesta.”
In 2012, he released “Write Me Back,” a song that paid homage to Teddy Pendergrass and Marvin Gaye.
Kelly has been working on new tracks since then. He was known as the R&B king in the 1990s, and his music has sold millions of copies.
Net Worth of R. Kelly
R. Kelly is a singer, songwriter, actor, and record producer from the United States. R Kelly has a net worth of –$2 million. Kelly’s net worth was easily in the tens of millions, even as high as $100 million, at the height of his career.
Kelly revealed to a judge in April 2020, while arguing for his release from jail, that he owes roughly $1.9 million to the IRS alone.
R. Kelly’s Singing Success
R. Kelly was one of the most popular male R&B artists of the 1990s. In 2010, Billboard magazine ranked him the most successful R&B singer in history, with more than 75 million records sold.
‘I Believe I Can Fly,’ ‘Ignition (Remix),’ and ‘If I Could Turn Back the Hands of Time’ are among his most well-known tracks. He also created songs for other musicians and released the hip-hop opera ‘Trapped in the Closet.’
Kelly is well known for co-writing the song “You Are Not Alone,” which was covered by Michael Jackson and garnered him a Grammy nomination in 1996.
R Kelly’s career has seen its share of issues throughout the years. He was caught and charged with allegedly having sex with an underage girl. He was subsequently acquitted of all 14 charges.
The following are some of the most memorable moments in R Kelly’s career:
- Billboard Awards (Number One R&B Producer, 1994)
- Grammy Award (Best R&B song “I Believe I Can Fly”, 1998)
- BET Awards (Best Male R&B Artist, 2003)
- R Kelly (Album, 1995)
- Soulacoaster: The Diary of Me (Autobiography, 2012)
- “Ignition” (Song, 2003)
- “I Believe I Can Fly” (Song, 1993)
- “Bump n’ Grind” (Song, 1993)
A Lost Fortune
R. Kelly’s net worth might easily have surpassed $50-100 million if he had never encountered legal issues. Kelly is rumored to have paid tens of millions of dollars to settle scores of lawsuits brought by women alleging abuse at the singer’s hands. Kelly reportedly lost a sizable chunk of his personal worth after divorcing Andrea Lee, his wife from 1996 until 2009, during his most prosperous years.
Kelly owed $5 million in outstanding taxes over a seven-year period, it was found in 2012. He was foreclosed on in 2013 after failing to make mortgage payments since 2010. He was evicted from two Atlanta-area properties in 2018 after owing more than $30,000 in overdue rent and fees. He lived in a rented townhouse in Chicago’s Trump Tower for a period of time in recent years.
Which of His Songs Is the Most Popular?
Kelly’s music career peaked in the 1990s and early 2000s when he amassed more Billboard Top 40 songs than any other male solo artist.
Ignition, released in 2003, and I Believe I Can Fly, featured in the 1995 basketball film Space Jam, are two of his most popular songs.
Step in the Name of Love is Billboard’s third most popular song of all time, after Bump N’ Grind and I Wish.