by michael eli dokosi/www.blakkpepper.com/ghana
American singer and songwriter Robert Sylvester Kelly has proved his musical credentials beyond doubt. His three Grammys is nothing to scoff at as is his 12 solo studio albums and 75 million records sale worldwide.
The 52 year-old Chicago, Illinois native in many eyes is the ‘King of R&B’ and ‘King of Pop-Soul’ achieving fame and wealth estimated at $1million.
But beyond the music is another facet of Kelly’s life which has caused him disaffection and bound to cost him his freedom.
Its origins might not have been his doing but a man must take hold of his life and ride it to a peaceful coast not into troubled waters.
Robert Kelly first tasted sexual experience not from non-relatives as should be the norm but rather from older female family members sharing the home who touched the naive eight year-old inappropriately when his mother and grandparents were not at home. The sexual contact continued till he was 14. It’s an episode in his life which might have triggered something in him noting “I was too afraid and too ashamed,” in his 2012 autobiography ‘Soulacoaster.’
A 10-year-old Kelly would sexually get abused also by an older male who was a friend of the family. If Kelly was a victim, he nonetheless defied the odds and became a record producer, and former semi-professional basketball player credited for helping redefine R&B and hip hop. He has been active musically since 1989 and birthed children Jay Kelly, Joann Kelly and Robert Kelly Jr.
But while things were in relative good shape on the music front, Kelly didn’t rein in his sex life prudently first marrying rising music star 15-year-old Aaliyah in 1994, when he was 27. When her family got to know about the marriage, it was promptly annulled. Aaliyah would later perish in a plane crash. His marriage to Andrea Lee 1996–2009 was free of scrutiny regarding age.
However while elderly people sexually abused him, it appears Kelly reversed the trend going for minors and teens for sexual pleasure.
After much rumour through the years, Kelly went on trial in 2008 facing 21 counts of pornography. He was eventually acquitted of all charges.
However it appears Kelly learnt no lesson continuing with a habit of videotaping sexual bouts with his partners.
Families accused the RnB star of brainwashing their daughters some young, others old to become sexual slaves for him, existing to satisfy his sexual fantasies. Being wealthy, tapes that leaked of him in action with the minors were promptly purchased by him or his agents according to some of the ladies who emerged alleging he forced himself on them.
However by 2019, if the ‘I believe I can Fly’ star felt he was untouchable as his music stayed on the radio, he was in for a rude shock.
In January 2019, ‘Lifetime’ premiered ‘Surviving R. Kelly’, a six-part docuseries that detailed the allegations against Kelly. It featured accounts from multiple women who say they escaped Kelly’s “cult” and interviews with members of Kelly’s inner circle. That docuseries led some of Kelly’s staff to leave him.
Multiple radio stations boycotted him with music stars Lady Gaga, apologizing for working with him while John Legend and Chance the Rapper slammed him. The #MeToo Movemment campaigned for his music to be muted.
Crucially, his record label reportedly dropped him. A new criminal investigation against him commenced.
In February, Kelly was arrested on 10 counts of sexual abuse but pleaded not guilty and was released on bail; he was however charged with 11 further counts in May. With fresh charges, he was denied bail in July, held up in jail awaiting trial in April 2020.
He is being held on sex-related charges, including coercion, physical abuse and sex with underage girls. As can be expected, Steve Greenberg, a lawyer for the troubled music notable wants his client released from prison on health grounds noting R. Kelly suffers from anxiety, an untreated hernia and numbness in one of his hands.
But curiously enough, Greenberg prayed the US District Court in New York on Monday:
“His visits are severely restricted; presently, he is only allowed one unrelated person to visit. In other words, although he lives and has lived with two lady friends, only one of them is allowed to be on his visiting list, and after 90 days he is required to switch. No other friends or professional colleagues are allowed to visit. That is not right.”
Apparently while Kelly who is being held in a Chicago area jail since July on federal sex crimes charges as well as charges in New York on racketeering, kidnapping, forced labor and sexual exploitation of a child which could land him in prison for 195 years and despite having a hernia, the man who has a ferocious appetite for women is more worried about being allowed to see only one of his two girlfriends.
A hearing regarding the status of his case has been set for October 2 to be heard by Brooklyn U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly. Perhaps then the issue of rape and abuse of damsels spanning 30 years can be concluded or perhaps he will have his way so he can have his two lady-loves come to him.