R. Kelly Net Worth

How much is R. Kelly worth?

Net Worth:-$2 Million
Profession:Professional R&B Singer
Date of Birth:January 8, 1967
Country:United States of America
1.85 m

Who Is R. Kelly

R. Kelly is the stage name of Robert Sylvester Kelly. He is an American actor, musician, record producer, singer, songwriter, and former semi-basketball player who rose to fame in the late 90s. R. Kelly has often been credited for helping the hip hop and R&B music genre and because of that, he’s been dubbed the “King of R&B”, “King of Pop-Soul”, and “Pied Piper of R&B”.

Kelly has released many hit singles such as “I Believe I Can Fly”, “Your Body’s Calling”, “Gotham City”, and “The World’s Greatest” among many others. During his career, he has been nominated for more than 250 awards and has won 110, including a Guinness World Record and three Grammys. As of 2021, the musician has released more than 75 records worldwide and is not only on the best selling music artists of all time but also the most successful R&B (male) artist of the 90s.

It’s come out that R. Kelly has a net worth of about -$2 million dollars. In April 2020, he made a case to be released so he could start earning again to pay down a $1.9 million dollar debt to the IRS. While everyone knows R. Kelly has been in trouble recently it’s surprising that the R&B singer who once had a net worth of well over $100 million dollars, could hardly scrape together $100 thousand dollars to post bale.

How did R. Kelly originally get rich?

R. Kelly became rich after his participation in “Big Break”, which opened a lot of doors for him. After signing with Jive Records, his first studio project titled “Born into the 90’s” was released in 1992. The album was credited as “R.Kelly and the Public Announcement” and to promote their album, Kelly and the group embarked on a tour which was entitled “60653”, named after the zip code of R. Kelly’s neighborhood in Chicago. After the tour, in January 1993, Kelly separated from the group to pursue his solo career.

His debut solo album was released a year later, in November 1993. The album was called “12 Play” and it featured his very first hit single – “Bump N Grind”, which topped the “Billboard Hot R&B Singles chart” for a record-breaking twelve weeks. In no time, the album debuted at number 2 on the Billboard 200 and in just three months, it was certified gold by the RIAA. In 1995, just before he released his eponymous second album, R. Kelly received his first Grammy nominations – for writing, composing, and producing Michael Jackson’s hit “You Are Not Alone”.

Kelly hit the peak of his career in 1995 when he released his second album “R. Kelly”. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and topped many other charts. It includes some of the most popular songs from the 90s – “You Remind Me of Something”, “Down Low”, “Thank God It’s Friday”, and “I Can’t Sleep Baby”. A year later, Kelly released his most popular song ever – “I Believe I Can Fly”, which quickly gained the attention of people from all over the world.

R. Kelly’s Financially Situation Today

In a song released on Spotify in 2018, “I Admit”, R.Kelly raps…

“Now the truth in this message is I’m a broke-ass legend. The only reason I stay on tour is ’cause I gotta pay my rent. I never thought it would come to this, to be the most disrespected artist. So I had to write a song about it. Because they always take my words and twist it. Believe me, it’s hard to admit all this.”

This was the first time R. Kelly began to come clean about his financial problems, admitting that he owed $20 million dollars to the IRS. R. Kelly was once worth well over $100 million dollars, perhaps even closer to $200 million. It was high enough, in any case, that in 2009 he was forced to pay a divorce settlement to his ex-wife Andrea Kelly, of $40 million dollars.

Today R. Kelly is in federal custody without bail in Chicago, awaiting trial. All his money is gone through countless settlements, unpaid bills and owed rent. His homes have been foreclosed and his assets auctioned off. He’s mired in controversy over multi allegations, Spotify no longer recommends his music in their playlists, and it appears his career is over.

Why did he get famous?

R. Kelly is famous because right at the beginning of his music career, he released a lot of hit singles and albums that really helped him gain a lot of popularity. He was born on January 8, 1967, in Chicago, Illinois. In his 2012 autobiography titled “Soulacoaster”, the singer claimed that he was sexually abused by both men and women during his childhood. In his teen years, Kelly became interested in basketball and he played with the late champion Ben Willson (for whom he sang the song “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday” at his funeral).

In the late 80s, the young musician became more and more interested in music and began street performing in Chicago. During that time, he met other performers – Marc McWilliams, Shawn Brooks, and Vincent Walker, and the four then formed a group in 1989 called MGM (Musically Gifted Men). The group released their first and only single “Why You Wanna Play Me” in 1990.

Long before MGM released their first song, R. Kelly gained national recognition when he (alongside the other members of MGM) took part in the popular talent show “Big Break”, which was hosted by Natalie Cole. Kelly was able to win the grand prize of $100,000 and he was shortly after offered a recording deal with Jive Records, which he accepted. This marked the beginning of his solo career and the end of MGM.

What makes him so successful?

Among some of the reasons why R. Kelly is so successful is because he was not just a singer but also a successful basketball player among many other things. Shortly after the release of his first two albums, Kelly signed a contract to play basketball for the Atlantic City Seagulls. In the year 2000, Kelly received a huge amount of awards that really helped him establish himself as an R&B superstar.

Throughout the rest of the 2000s, Kelly continued to release new albums and tours all over the world to promote his music. One of his tours, titled “Unfinished Business” sparked a rivalry between Kelly and Jay-Z. The two artists couldn’t work things out and the tension eventually led to a lawsuit. The $75 million lawsuit against Jay-Z was countered by the latter and later thrown out by the judge.

In 2011, Billboard magazine named Kelly as the number one R&B artist for the last 25 years. During that time, the artist announced he’s taking a break from music because of serious throat surgery. His first performance was in December of that year at an episode of The X Factor, where he sang his hit single “I Believe I Can Fly”. After the surgery, Kelly returned and continued to release new albums, as well as headline various tours.

Since the 1990s, Kelly has been involved in many allegations for sexual abuse and misconduct. After more than 10 years of being with RCA Records, the label broke ties with him in February 2019, following the viral hashtag “Mute R. Kelly”. In July 2019, Kelly was incarcerated at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago for child pornography, forced labor, and kidnapping. His last studio project was an album titled “12 Nights of Christmas” and it was released in October 2016.


Despite the controversy that has surrounded him for the past 30 years and being incarcerated, R. Kelly is still seen as one of the most successful and influential R&B artists of not just the 90s but of all time. His long list of awards and achievements confirm that he is certainly one of the most popular artists that ever produced music.

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