Robert Sylvester Kelly, best known by the name R. Kelly, was born on January 8, 1967 in Chicago, Illinois. From early childhood his passions were basketball and music, which he loved more. Studying at the Kenwood Academy High School he won a young talents show, singing Stevie Wonder’s Ribbon In The Sky, following which he decided to commit himself to music. In 1990 Robert took his electronic keyboard and went in the city streets to sing and earn money. Soon he was noticed by a musical producer Wayne Williams, the owner of Jive Records label, and by the end of the year a contract with the young artist was signed. Kelly arranged a band called Public Announcement and in 1991 they released their debut work Born into the 90’s. Some of the album’s songs became hits – She's Got That Vibe, Honey Love, Dedicated, and Slow Dance (Hey Mr. DJ), and all of them were performed by Robert Kelly. Thinking that solo career would bring him more success, he left the band and in 1993 released his solo album 12 Play. The disc included such hits as Sex Me and Your Body’s Calling, as well as the single Bump & Grind registering at No. 1 on U.S. R&B charts for twelve record-setting weeks. Afterwards the album became multi-platinum with more than five million sold copies and brought the artist the all-time fame.
In the following year Kelly decided to broaden his activities and began to work as a producer for young acts and artists, such as Aaliyah, then unknown 15-year old girl from Detroit. Her debut album was released several month before the marriage of the two artists came to light. But Kelly’s family life was not too long – due to the non-age of Aaliyah the marriage was cancelled in 1995, and Robert came back to his studio to record his second solo album called R. Kelly. The result was incredibly successful – more than four million sold copies, tops of hip-hop and R&B charts, three multi-platinum singles You Remind Me Of Something, Down Low (Nobody Has To Know) and I Can’t Sleep Baby (If I). Many have admitted that the lyrics were more mature in comparison with the first solo experience and the critics still consider this disc the best work of Kelly in all his career. In 1998 a double album called R. was recorded, becoming the best-selling work of the artist to the present day. To the moment of its release R. Kelly became not only a famous artist and producer, but also an acclaimed songwriter for such stars as Mary J. Blige, Michael and Janet Jackson, Quincy Jones, Toni Braxton and many others.
The following two works, TP-2.com (2000) and Chocolate Factory (2003), proved once again that Kelly and multi-million number of copies are inseparable notions. The albums included such hits as Ignition, Snake and Step In The Name Of Love (Chocolate Factory) and the Fiesta remix (Tp-2.com), performed together with Jay-Z. It was the success of that single that led to collaboration of the two artists and creation of a joint album called The Best Of Both Worlds. Soon afterwards Kelly released a double CD Happy People/U Saved Me, the first part of which was represented by easy dance soul tunes (Happy People), and the second one was focused on gospel (U Saved Me). The following step was TP.3 Reloaded (2005), which included the first five parts of the Trapped In The Closet saga – odd, bold, daring experiment, which can be described as “a collision of R&B-aria and soap opera”. Many stars took part in recording of the ninth studio album called Double Up (2007), such as T.I., T-Pain, Snoop Dogg, Ludacris, Nelly, Usher and Kid Rock. The disc became platinum and reached #1 of U.S. Billboard 200, U.S. Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and European Album Chart. In 2009 the world saw the release of Untitled, the atmosphere of which hasn’t changed at all – still the same candle light and silk bed sheets, sex in the morning, sex around the clock. And despite the fact that R. Kelly has spent his whole career creating bedroom music with sexually-oriented lyrics, it seems that he isn’t bored with the topic. And we have to give him credit for that – in this field he is the best! Pretty soon the artist’s fans got a wonderful present: R. Kelly’s two strong compilation albums were released in a row in 2010. The records Playlist: The Very Best Of R. Kelly and Epic became great additions to the musician’s discography, which is quite logical and clear. Traditional atmosphere, emotional vocals and excellent choice of songs – these are all necessary ingredients to create an amazing album.