R. Kelly is one of the most successful R&B artists in the music industry with over 100 million albums sold world-wide.

Early beginning

R. Kelly was born Robert Sylvester Kelly in Chicago, Illionis in 1967 and began his music career by singing in a church choir. While attending the Kenwood Academy, he was encouraged by Lena McLin (Kelly’s teacher) that he had a great potential for performing.

R.Kelly on stage
R.Kelly performing on stage

This led Kelly to sign a contract with Jive Records in 1990 and release his first album. It was composed by him and his back-up group Public Announcement. The album featured 2 very well received hits “Honey Love” and “Slow Dance (Hey Mr. DJ)”.

YouTube video

King of R&B

Kelly soon reached his next breakthrough while performing in the group 12 Play. They landed their first hit song “Bump N’ Grind” which was the number 1 on pop charts.

YouTube video

One of the songs Kelly is best known for is “I Believe I Can Fly” a song that was featured in the OST for the movie Space Jam. While Kelly was already known for being the “King of R&B”, the song earned him the title of “King of Ballad”.

He has also worked with other artists like Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson. The famous hit single “You Are Not Alone” from Michael Jackson was one of Kelly’s projects that instantly topped the music charts.

YouTube video

Kelly stayed on top of his game throughout the 90’s with his album R. The album featured “I’m your angel” that was performed in a duet with Celine Dion. He also collaborated with Jay-Z on the song “Fiesta” and with “Puffy” for the number one hit “Satisfy You”. He has worked on many albums for different artists  like Aaliyah’s first album “Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number”.

To this day, R. Kelly has sold over 100 million albums world-wide with almost half of that in the United States alone. The entertainment media Billboard Magazine has named him “The most successful R&B artist in the last 25 years”.

Articles in same category:

Scroll to Top