Who is R. Kelly?
R. Kelly is an American RnB singer, songwriter and record producer. He is known for his hit songs like “The Storm Is Over Now”, “I Believe I Can Fly”, “If I Could Turn Back The Hands Of Time” and “Same Girl” which featured Usher. As one of the most successful male RnB artists of his generation, R. Kelly is often dubbed “the King of RnB” in the media.
R. Kelly’s full name is Robert Sylvester Kelly. He was born on January 8, 1967, in Chicago, Illinois, United States. As of June 2022, R. Kelly is 55 years old. R. Kelly and his three siblings grew up in a public housing project in the once-ghetto Bronzeville area of Chicago.
About R. Kelly’s parents
R. Kelly’s only known parent is his mother Joanne Kelly who died of cancer in 1993. According to information gathered by DNB Stories Africa, R. Kelly’s father was completely absent in his life and he was raised by his mother. His mother later married his stepfather named Lucious when he was 5 years old.
R. Kelly’s siblings
R. Kelly was born as the third child of four children from his mother. He has one older sister named Theresa Kelly; an older brother named Bruce Kelly and a younger brother named Carey Kelly. Kelly’s older sister, Theresa, is accused of molesting the singer and his brother when they were kids.
R. Kelly’s marriage and wedding
As of the time of publishing this article (June 2022), R. Kelly has been married twice. His first marriage was to teen singer Aaliyah. The marriage was very controversial due to their age difference (Aaliyah was 15 years old then while R. Kelly was 27). The union barely lasted one year. The marriage was annulled by Aaliyah’s parents in 1995.
Following the annulment of his marriage to Aaliyah, R. Kelly married his second wife, Andrea Kelly, an American dancer and actress. The union lasted from 1996 to 2009.
About R. Kelly’s marriage to Aaliyah
According to reports sighted by DNB Stories Africa, R. Kelly wedded Aaliyah in a secret wedding ceremony in 1994. His marriage to Aaliyah was very controversial, especially after reports emerged that Aaliyah was 15 years old at the time of their marriage. According to reports, R. Kelly had bribed a government employee in 1994 to obtain a fake ID showing Aaliyah’s age as 18. The marriage was annulled the following year in 1995 by Aaliyah’s parents who were never aware of the wedding.
Following the annulment of her marriage to Kelly and the controversies that surrounded the event, Aaliyah severed all ties with R. Kelly and would not discuss him even during interviews.
There were reports that R. Kelly met Aaliyah when she was just 12 years old. He played a big role in establishing her as a singer and also produced her first album, interestingly titled “Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number”. R. Kelly’s romantic relationship with Aaliyah was widely criticized. In an episode of the “Surviving R. Kelly” documentary, one of R. Kelly’s former backup dancers said she once saw R. Kelly having intimacy with Aaliyah in the tour bus.
There were widespread rumours that R. Kelly had gotten Aaliyah pregnant when he married her in 1994. Some of the reports say that R. Kelly may have rushed to marry Aaliyah and falsify her age because he feared he might have impregnated a minor. R. Kelly’s former tour manager, Demetrius Smith Sr., later wrote in his book published in 2011 that Aaliyah was pregnant when R. Kelly married her in 1994.
However, there was no concrete confirmation to the reports as Aaliyah did not give birth to any child for R. Kelly. Sadly, Aaliyah passed away on August 25, 2001, in an airplane crash in the Bahamas. She was 22 years old at the time of her death.
About R. Kelly’s marriage to his second wife – Andrea Kelly
Andrea Kelly is an American choreographer, dancer and actress. She was born Andrea Danyell Kelly (née Lee) on January 29, 1974. As of June 2022, she is 48 years old. Andrea Kelly, known professionally as Drea, got married to R. Kelly in 1996. She was 22 years old at the time while R. Kelly was 29. Andrea Kelly was a former backup dancer for R. Kelly before they started a romantic relationship.
The marriage lasted 13 years (from 1996 to 2009), although they were already having issues before their eventual divorce in 2009. Andrea filed for divorce in 2006 but their divorce was not finalized until three years after in 2009.
Andrea Kelly would later reveal that R. Kelly emotionally and physically abused her all the while they were married, even going further to share that at one time the RnB singer tied her up in the bed and raped her. Andrea Kelly stated that R. Kelly fell asleep while she was still tied up. According to her, the assaults were so serious that she contemplated suicide back then, adding that she still suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to the events.
R.Kelly’s second marriage to Andrea Kelly produced three children.
R. Kelly’s children
R. Kelly is the father of three children – one biological girl, one biological boy and one transgender boy. All his three biological children are from his ex-wife, Andrea Kelly.
List of R. Kelly’s biological children
- Joann Kelly – 24 years old in 2022.
- Jay Kelly – 22 years old in 2022
- Robert Kelly Jr., – 20 years old in 2022.
a. Joann Kelly
Joann Kelly is R.Kelly’s oldest child and only daughter. She is also known by her stage name Buku Abi. She was born on March 19, 1998. She is 24 years old as of June 2022. Joann Kelly is a singer, actress, model, and social media personality.
b. Jay Kelly
Jay Kelly is R. Kelly’s second child. He was born in the year 2000 and will be 22 years old in 2022. Jay is a budding singer and rapper. He often raps under the stage name JaahBaby. Jay Kelly was born biologically female and was formerly called Jaya. He came out as transgender in 2014 and changed his name from Jaya to Jay.
c. Robert Kelly Jr.
Robert Kelly Jr. is R. Kelly’s last child. He was born on born December 2, 2002, and is currently 19 years old. Robert Kelly Jr is a basketball player. Unlike his brother and sister, Robert Kelly Jr. likes to stay out of media attention.
Is R. Kelly close to his children?
According to what R. Kelly’s ex-wife Andrea Kelly revealed, the singer does not have a good relationship with his children. She went further to reveal that R. Kelly had changed his mobile number at one point and they did not have the new number.
While on The Bert Show in 2019, Andrea said:
He has no relationship with his children now. He doesn’t call them, he changed his phone number. We don’t have that phone number.
About R. Kelly’s sex offences, conviction and sentencing
R. Kelly has faced multiple accusations of sexual misconduct often involving minors since the 1990s. The sexual misconduct allegations took a different turn after the #MeToo movement which led to the release of the “Surviving R. Kelly” documentary.
On February 22, 2019, R. Kelly was arrested and charged with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse. Prior to this, prosecutors have seen more evidence of R. Kelly’s sexual offences, including new video evidence of the singer having sex with an underage girl. 11 new sex-related charges were later added to his case.
Prosecutors accused R. Kelly of using his “fame, money and popularity” to systematically “prey upon children and young women for his own sexual gratification”.
On September 27, 2021, R. Kelly was found guilty of sex trafficking and racketeering charges for abusing women, girls and boys for more than two decades. Six women accused R. Kelly of sex crimes and five of them testified against him in court. The sixth person is singer Aaliyah who died in a plane crash in 2001. Four additional women and two men also later came forward to testify against the singer.
On June 29, 2022, R. Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison for multiple sex crimes.