R. Kelly

Born 8 January 1967.
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R. Kelly chats to Jools Holland

R. Kelly talks to Jools Holland on Later...

Featured in BBC Music Clips


Robert Sylvester Kelly (born January 8, 1967), known professionally as R. Kelly, is an American singer-songwriter, record producer and rapper. A native of Chicago, Illinois, often referred to as the King of R&B, Kelly began performing during the late 1980s and debuted in 1992 with the group Public Announcement. In 1993, Kelly went solo with the album 12 Play. He is known for a collection of major hit singles including "Bump n' Grind", "Your Body's Callin'", "I Believe I Can Fly", "Gotham City", "Ignition (Remix)", "If I Could Turn Back the Hands of Time", "The World's Greatest", "I'm a Flirt", and the hip-hopera "Trapped in the Closet". In 1998, Kelly won three Grammy Awards for "I Believe I Can Fly".

Kelly has written, produced, and remixed songs and albums for many artists, including Aaliyah's 1994 debut album Age Ain't Nothing But a Number. In 1996, Kelly was nominated for a Grammy for writing Michael Jackson's song "You Are Not Alone". In 2002 and 2004, Kelly released collaboration albums with rapper Jay-Z and has been a guest vocalist for other hip hop artists like Nas, Sean Combs, and Fat Joe.

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BBC Reviews

  1. Review of Write Me Back

    Write Me Back 2012

    Reviewed by Natalie Shaw
    A relaxed exercise in spanning the spectrum of human emotion.
  2. Review of Untitled

    Untitled 2009

    Reviewed by David Aaron
    Polished though it is, Untitled is ultimately flawed by overtly macho lyrics.
  3. Review of Happy People/You Saved Me

    Happy People/You Saved Me 2004

    Reviewed by Jack Smith
    Happy People treads a dangerous line between being likeable soul and copying classics...
  4. Review of Chocolate Factory

    Chocolate Factory 2003

    Reviewed by Jack Smith
    Despite the most suspect of titles, R Kelly appears to have pulled off one of the most...
  5. Review of 12 Play

    12 Play 1993

    Reviewed by Daryl Easlea
    Although dubious of lyric, 12 Play still sounds contemporary and frequently surprising.
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