R. Kelly has been nothing short of a musical phenomenon. His masterful fusion of R&B, gospel, pop, hip-hop, and classic soul has garnered him more top-forty hits (fifteen and counting) than any other male solo artist of the 90's.
As a singer, songwriter, producer, and remixer, he has earned multi-platinum sales, multi-format successes, numerous awards, sold-out world tours, and international praise. He has written and produced songs for Mary J. Blige,
Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Gladys Knight, Michael Jackson,
Janet Jackson, Luther Vandross, Notorious B.I.G., Kirk Franklin, and
Born in 1969, Kelly grew up on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois. "It was rough," Kelly says of his childhood, "but it
was fair ... got me where I am today mentally." Spending most of his youth playing basketball and getting into trouble, it wasn't until high school that Kelly discovered his passion for music. Prompted by his music teacher and eager to get a better grade, he entered a school talent show. Singing Stevie Wonder's "Ribbon in the Sky," and acting as if he were blind, he won the contest. He resolved then that the life of a musician was his calling. Says Kelly, "I hadn't got that kind of love on the basketball court, so I decided that day that this was what I wanted to do." Kelly soon began busking for change with
his electronic keyboard on the South Side streets and the rest is pop music history.
R. Kelly made his first impact in 1991 with his backing band Public Announcement. The Album "Born Into the 90's," released to critical acclaim on Jive Records, became a number three selling R&B title, and spurned the top forty hits "Honey Love" and "Dedicated," as well as the top ten R&B smashes, "She's Got that Vibe" and "Slow Dance (Hey Mr. DJ)".
Certified platinum in 1992, "Born Into the 90's" introduced R. Kelly as a potent Pop and R&B force. Kelly's 1993 sophomore effort, "12 Play," solidified his massive crossover appeal. He hit number one on the both the Hot 100 and R&B singles chart with "Bump N' Grind," and also scored multi-format hits with "Your Body's Calling" and "Sex Me Parts I and II." With his distinct and sexually charged sound and lyrics, the album was certified five-times platinum a year later, and R. Kelly was firmly established in the pantheon of 90's Pop and R&B giants.
Following this success, Kelly found himself in huge demand as a writer, Producer, and mixer. He remixed
Janet Jackson's "Anytime, Anyplace" which soared to number one. He wrote, produced, and arranged the vocals for Michael Jackson's global number one hit "You are Not Alone." Over the next two years, he wrote and produced "When You Call my Name"
for Luther Vandross, the international smash "G.H.E.T.T.O.U.T."
for Changing Faces, guested on Notorious B.I.G.'s
"Life After Death," wrote and performed on
Mary J. Blige's "It's On," and wrote and produced Toni Braxton's hit "I Don't Want To."
Kelly's third album for Jive, the eponymous "R. Kelly," was released at the end of 1995 and became his first number one Pop and R&B title. The album sparked three number one R&B tracks, three top five Pop hits, and sold more than five millions copies. In 1997, he struck gold with the international number one, gospel-inspired anthem "I Believe I Can Fly" from the Warner
Brothers film "Space Jam." The song swept the 1998 Grammy Awards, winning three statuettes, including "Best R&B Male Vocal Performance," "Best R&B Song," and "Best Songwriter."
R. Kelly describes "I Believe I Can Fly"
as his greatest achievement to date. "It mattered the most not only to me," he says, "but the world and it did a lot of people some good ... to make us all feel like we can all love ... that song had no color."
In November of 1998, R. Kelly released "R.," the sprawling, ambitious double CD, which debuted at number two on the Billboard 200. Diverse and accomplished, this eclectic collection featured a wide range of musical styles and incorporated the sounds of such disparate artists as Jay-Z, Celine Dion, Foxy
Brown, and NAS. Producing two number one songs, "I'm Your Angel" (the duet with Celine Dion) and "Half on a Baby," the album was certified six-times platinum.
Hit songs include --
- Number One
- I Believe I Can Fly
- Bump n' Grind
- Chocolate Factory
- Down Low (Nobody Has To Know)
- Honey Love
- I Can't Sleep Baby (If I)
- I Wish
- I'm Your Angel
- Slow Dance
- Step In The Name of Love
- You Remind Me of Something
- Your Body's Calling
- If I Could Turn Back The Hands of Time
- Take You Home With Me
- When A Woman's Fed Up
- Gotham City
- Thoia Thoing
- Happy People
R. Kelly may be available for your next special event!
.New Jack Swing.
..90s, ..00s, ..10S
Born: ..in Illinois
Jan 8, 1967
Raised: ..in Illinois