R Kelly Net Worth, Career, and Life

Robert Sylvester Kelly was born on the 8th of January 1967 at Chicago Lying-in Hospital in Hyde Park, Chicago. Kelly is the third of four children.

Kelly’s single mother, Joanne, was a singer. She raised her children Baptist. Kelly’s father was not present throughout his son’s life.

Kelly’s family lived in the Ida B. Wells Homes public housing project in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood. Kelly began singing when he was eight years old in the church choir.

Kelly grew up in a house full of women, whom he said would act strangely when his mother and grandparents were not home. At a young age, Kelly was often sexually abused by a woman who was at least ten years older than himself.

At age 11, he was shot in the shoulder while riding his bike home; the bullet is reportedly still lodged in his shoulder. Kelly was eight years old when he had his first girlfriend, a girl named Lulu.

They would hold hands and have pretend meals inside their cardboard playhouse, where they “vowed to be boyfriend and girlfriend forever.”

Kelly stated in his autobiography that their last play date ended tragically when Lulu was pushed into the water after a disagreement with several bigger children over a play place near a creek.

A swift stream took her away as she yelled Kelly’s name. She was discovered dead downstream not long after. Kelly credits Lulu as his first musical inspiration.


As a child, he and his buddies Marc McWilliams, Vincent Walker, and Shawn Brooks founded the group MGM (Musically Gifted Men). MGM recorded and published their first single, ‘Why You Wanna Play Me,’ in 1990 and then disbanded.

Kelly published his debut album, ‘Born Into the 90’s,’ in 1992 with the backing band Public Announcement. The album spawned multiple chart-topping singles and was eventually certified platinum.

“R. Kelly,” his self-titled debut album, was released in 1995. This album, which had introspective lyrics and foot-tapping music, was a great success

It yielded three top No. 1 singles: ‘You Remind Me of Something,’ ‘Down Low (Nobody Has to Know),’ and ‘I Can’t Sleep Baby (If I).’

In 1998 he released ‘R,’ the album that would become the most commercially successful one of his career so far. It also received rave reviews from critics and received numerous accolades and nominations.

His album, ‘Chocolate Factory (2003), debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart in the United States. It was a major international success, selling over three million copies worldwide.
It was also praised by newspapers such as ‘The New York Times’ and ‘USA Today.’

He released ‘TP.3 Reloaded’ in 2005, which became his fourth No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart. Songs on the album included ‘In the Kitchen,’ ‘Reggae Bump Bump,’ ‘Happy Summertime,’ and ‘Slow Wind.’

The single ‘I’m a Flirt Remix’ from his 2007 album ‘Double Up’ peaked at No. 1 on the Hot Rap Tracks list.

His album ‘Love Letter’ was released in 2010. Known for his sexually graphic themes, Kelly stunned his fans with this album, which had poignant lyrics about love and forgiveness.

This album, like his previous ones, was a huge success. His 2013 album, ‘Black Panties,’ premiered at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 chart, and critics gave it mixed reviews.


In the fall of 1981, Kelly enrolled at Kenwood Academy in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, where he met his music instructor, Lena McLin, who inspired Kelly to perform the Stevie Wonder classic “Ribbon in the Sky” in a high school talent show.

McLin advised a young Kelly to quit the basketball squad. At first, he was angry, she said, but following his performance at the school talent competition, he changed his mind.

Personal Life and Legacy

In 1996, he married Andrea, his former backup dancer. They have three children. After nearly 13 years of marriage, they split in 2009.

Kelly was arrested in Chicago on 21 charges of child pornography after videos of him engaging in sexual actions with an underage girl surfaced in 2002.

Major Works

His third studio album, ‘R,’ became his best-selling record to date. It sold eight million copies in the United States alone, peaking at No. 1 on the R&B albums list.

It also produced the No. 1 pop song in the United States, ‘I’m Your Angel,’ as well as the No. 1 R&B hit, ‘I Believe I Can Fly.’

Awards and Achievements

His song, ‘You Are Not Alone,’ was awarded the Guinness Book of World Records ‘First Song to Debut on the US Single Chart at Number One’ in 1995.

R. Kelly has three Grammy Awards from 25 nominations, including Best R&B Song, Best Male R&B Vocal Performance, and Best Song Written for Television, Motion Picture, or Other Visual Media for the song ‘I Believe I Can Fly,’ released in 1998.

R Kelly’s Net Worth Today

As of 2024, R Kelly’s net worth is roughly worth $2 million.

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