R. Kelly

  • R&B/Hip Hop singer born Robert Kelly in 1967, in Chicago Illinois.
  • A high school music teacher encouraged Kelly to perform in a school talent show, which led to his decision to pursue music professionally. He performed on the streets in Chicago, and in 1989, he formed a group with 3 friends called MGM (Musically Gifted Men). The group competed in a talent TV show, and they won $100,000. They recorded and released a single, but soon broke up. In 1991, he signed a record deal and joined a Chicago-based group named Public Announcement.
  • Public Announcement issued an R&B album in 1992 called Born Into the 90’s. It was successful, with 4 hits, including 2 that peaked at #1 on the R&B chart – Honey Love and Slow Dance (Hey Mr DJ). Kelly left the band after a year, to start a solo career.
  • His first solo album, 12 Play, sold over 6 million copies. There were 3 hit singles, with Bump ‘N’ Grind staying #1 on the R&B chart for a record 12 consecutive weeks.
  • He soon became successful as a writer and producer. He wrote and produced Aaliyah’s debut album in 1994, which sold 3 million copies and had 2 songs in the top 5 of the Billboard Hot 100 list. He also wrote and produced the debut album for the R&B duo Changing Faces, which had 2 singles in the top 10 on the R&B chart.
  • In 1995, he wrote and produced Michael Jackson’s final #1 hit – You Are Not Alone. Later that year, Kelly released his second album, self titled R. Kelly. It had 3 huge singles – You Remind Me of Something, I Can’t Sleep (Baby If I) and Down Low (Nobody Has To Know). 
  • In 1996, his contribution to the Space Jam film soundtrack was I Believe I Can Fly. It was his most successful song. It reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and it won 3 Grammy awards.
  • His next album was titled R., released in 1998. It was his highest selling album, with over 8 million copies sold in the U.S. His pop duet with Celine Dion, I’m Your Angel, peaked at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The album also featured blues songs and rap songs.
  • As he entered the 00s, his music continued to be highly successful. Of the 8 studio albums he released during the decade, 5 peaked at #1, and 2 made it to #2. Collectively, over 13 million albums were sold. His biggest singles were I Wish, Fiesta (featuring Jay-Z and Boo & Gotti), Ignition, Step in the Name of Love, and I’m A Flirt (featuring T.I. and T-Pain).
  • Several albums have been released in 2010. Sales have been modest, and none of the singles have charted very high.
  • He is considered one of the most successful R&B/Hip-Hop artists of all time, and has been given the nickname The King of R&B and The King of Pop-Soul. Here is the video to his Grammy winning song, I Believe I Can Fly.

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