Timeline of R. Kelly’s life, lurid rumor to criminal charges

R. Kelly has long faced allegations of lurid sexual behavior and abuse, some of which have been made public through documentaries or court documents.

The R&B singer is once again heading to court, this time for a federal trial in New York stemming from years of sexual abuse allegations. He denies the allegations against him.

Here is a timeline of Kelly’s life, from his early days in Chicago through his rise and fall as an R&B artist:

— Jan. 8, 1967: Robert Sylvester Kelly is born in Chicago to Joann Kelly, a school teacher. R. Kelly is third of four children and lives with his family in Chicago’s housing projects. Little is known about his father.

— 1975: At age 8, Kelly begins singing in church.

— 1979: At age 12, Kelly said, he “experienced a lot of things at a very young age that I don’t know if I was supposed to,” including witnessing older youth rape one of his girlfriends.

— 1983: At age 16, his mother moves the family from the projects and enrolls her son at the prestigious Kenwood Academy, a Chicago public school.

— 1984: At age 17, his music teacher places him in a local talent show to perform a version of “Ribbon in the Sky,” a Stevie Wonder song. “That night it was like Spider-Man being bit. I discovered the power you get from being onstage,” he told Newsweek in 1995. In the years that follow, he performs in Chicago’s subway stations full time with his Casio keyboard, often pretending he was blind to avoid arrest.

— 1990: R. Kelly’s R&B group MGM wins the $100,000 grand prize on the syndicated television talent show, “Big Break,” hosted by Natalie Cole. Because of money disagreements, that is the last time the group performed. Music executive Wayne Williams of Jive Records discovers Kelly singing at a barbecue that summer.

— January 1992: R. Kelly & Public Announcement debuts “Born Into The ’90s.” Released a year later, the album goes platinum.

— November 1993: His album “12 Play” is released and eventually sells more than 5 million copies. Hit singles include “Sex Me” and “Bump N’ Grind,” which became the longest-running No. 1 R&B song in more than 30 years.

— Aug. 31, 1994: At age 27, R. Kelly marries 15-year-old R&B singer Aaliyah D. Haughton. The couple weds in a secret ceremony arranged by Kelly at a hotel in Chicago. The marriage is annulled months later because of Aaliyah’s age.

— September 1994: Aaliyah’s debut album, “Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number,” which Kelly produced, is certified platinum. (Aaliyah died in a plane crash seven years later, at age 22.)

— November 1996: R. Kelly releases his third album, “R. Kelly.” A month later, he incorporates Rockland Records. His song “I Believe I Can Fly,” from the “Space Jam” soundtrack, peaks at No. 2 on the Billboard pop chart. The same year, he marries 22-year-old Andrea Lee, a dancer from his touring troupe. The couple goes on to have three children: Joanne, Jaya and Robert Jr.

— Feb. 18, 1997: Tiffany Hawkins files a complaint against Kelly alleging intentional sexual battery and sexual harassment while she was a minor.

— January 1998: Hawkins’ lawsuit is reportedly settled for $250,000.

— February 1998: Kelly wins three Grammys for “I Believe I Can Fly.”

— November 1998: His album “R.” hit stores. It has since sold 6 million copies.

— November 2000: His album “TP-2.com” debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart.

— August 2001: Tracy Sampson files a lawsuit against Kelly, alleging their sex was illegal under Illinois law because he was in “a position of authority” over her. The case was reportedly settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.

— Feb. 8, 2002: The Chicago Sun-Times reported that it received a videotape allegedly showing Kelly having sex with a minor. The paper reported Chicago police began investigating allegations about Kelly and the same girl three years earlier. At the time, the girl and her parents denies she was having sex with Kelly.

The same day the news breaks, Kelly performs at the opening ceremonies for the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

— June 5, 2002: Kelly is indicted in Chicago on child pornography charges stemming from the sex tape. He pleads not guilty and is released on $750,000 bail.

— January 2003: Kelly is arrested at a Florida hotel on additional child pornography charges after investigators said they found photos of him having sex with a girl. Charges are later dropped after the judge ruled police didn’t have a warrant to search Kelly’s house.

— Feb. 18, 2003: Kelly’s album “Chocolate Factory” is released, selling 538,000 copies in its first week.

— July 2005: Kelly’s seventh solo album, “TP.3 Reloaded,” hits No. 1 spot on the Billboard chart.

— September 2005: Andrea Kelly asks for an order of protection from her husband, accusing the singer of hitting her when she said she wanted a divorce.

— February 2006: R. Kelly’s brother, Carey Kelly, says his brother offered him $50,000 and a record deal to say he was the person on the sex video.

— May 29, 2007: Kelly releases his album “Double Up,” which peaks at No. 1 on the Billboard albums chart.

Must Read

Related News