Robert Sylvester Kelly was known professionally as R. Kelly, is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, rapper and former professional basketball player. Kelly began performing during the late 1980s and debuted in 1992 with the group Public Announcement. In 1998, Kelly won three Grammy Awards for "I Believe I Can Fly". Kelly became the first music star to play professionalbasketball, when he got signed in 1997. In 1996, Kelly was nominated for a Grammy for writing Michael Jackson's song "You Are Not Alone". The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has recognized R. Kelly as one of the best-selling music artists in the United States with 40 million albums sold as well as only the fifth black artist to crack the top 50 of the same list.
As a teenager, Kelly began street performing under the Chicago 'L' tracks before he eventually formed a group with his friends Marc McWilliams, Vincent Walker, and Shawn Brooks. In 1990, MGM recorded and released their first single "Why You Wanna Play Me", after releasing the single the group disbanded. In 1991, Kelly signed with Jive Records and teamed with a new group from Chicago called Public Announcement.
Born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois, Robert Sylvester Kelly is the third of four children. Kelly began singing in the church choir at age eight. Kelly grow up at a house full of women. At a young age Kelly was often sexually abused by a woman who was at least ten years older than what he was. Kelly was 8 years old when he had his first girlfriend.