R. Kelly is a popular American record producer and R&B singer-songwriter. He is best known for his highly sexualized lyrics and gospel-tinged vocals. Born in 1967 in Chicago, R. Kelly got his first big break in 1990 by landing a recording contract with Jive Records. Since then, he gained popularity through his R&B singles such as “Slow Dance” and “Honey Love”.
The 25-year career of R. Kelly has been defined by two constants i.e. allegations of sexual misconduct that involve underage women and a series of hits that helped insulate him from the legal repercussions of these claims. Following are some of the allegations against R. Kelly:
August 31, 1994: R. Kelly marries Aaliyah who is 15-year-old at the time
When Aaliyah married the R&B singer in Chicago, she was underage even though her age is listed as 18 on the counterfeit marriage certificate. Although neither person admitted to being married, the marriage was annulled after a few months.
December 2000: The first major investigation into R. Kelly’s alleged sex crimes is published
It was the Chicago Sun-Times that published the investigation.
December 1996: Kelly is sued by Tiffany Hawkins for engaging in inappropriate sexual conduct
At the time Kelly was sued, he was 24 and the aspiring singer Tiffany was 15. A lawsuit was settled later for an undisclosed amount of money.
January 2001: DeRogatis receives the first sex tape of R. Kelly from an anonymous source
The tape was turned over to Chicago police because the Sun-Times editors were concerned that the women in the video could be underage. After that, another sex tape was received involving R. Kelly having sex with a girl who was allegedly 14 at the time. Kelly has been indicted on multiple child-pornography charges. He was found not guilty on all counts in 2008.
There were many other allegations of sexual misconduct year after year including allegations from Patrice Jones and Montina Woods.
On July 17, 2017, the R&B singer was accused of running a sex cult that preys on young black women. The investigation was published by BuzzFeed and it focused on two women who were allegedly being held at R. Kelly’s rental properties. Two more women spoke out in BuzzFeed News report on May 4, 2018.
The most recent allegation of sexual abuse against the R&B star comes from Tracy Sampson. According to her, Kelly sexually abused her as a teenager. The R&B singer repeatedly denied all allegations against him as well as denied having sex with Sampson.
R. Kelly has come under fire professionally and personally as an onslaught of sexual-misconduct allegations following the #MeToo movement. The #MuteRKelly campaign is also gaining a lot of traction. Sony and R. Kelly have parted ways. Other entertainers, including Chance the Rapper, Celine Dion, and Lady Gaga, have pulled their collaborations with Kelly from streaming services. They also made public apologies about working with Kelly.
According to Kelly’s attorney, the R&B singer believes that all of his accusers are lying. The artist is having a difficult time and wants to put out his music. It is expected that that’s what the singer will be able to do.