R Kelly Net Worth

Last Updated on December 18, 2022 | Written by CPA Alec Pow
First Published on June 21, 2022 | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popivker

R Kelly is a Chicago songwriter, record producer, and singer. He became successful with the release of his debut album “Born Into the 90’s”. He continued to sing rap and today is known as one of the best singers and songwriters of all time, with songs like “I believe I can fly” and “Ignition”.

What is R Kelly’s net worth?

In his good times, R Kelly had a net worth of tens of millions, maybe as much as one hundred million dollars, but now his net worth is negative $2 million. In April 2020, when he was judged and was found guilty of sexual offenses, he declared that he had to pay just $1.9 million to the IRS.

Early Life and Career Beginnings

Net Worth: -$2 Million
Profession: Singer, Rapper, Multi-instrumentalist, Songwriter, Record producer, Actor, Music Video Director, Music executive
Date of Birth: Jan 8, 1967
Height: 6 ft (1.854 m)
Gender: Male
Nationality: United States of America

Robert Sylvester Kelly was born on January 8, 1967, in Chicago. Kelly’s mother, Joanne, was a singer. Kelly’s father was gone for the whole of his son’s life, so his mother raised him alone with his three brothers. Kelly was often sexually abused by a woman about whom he wrote his autobiography.

Kelly entered Kenwood Academy where he performed a song by Stevie Wonder, after which he began playing on the streets of Chicago.

He formed a band with his friends, called “MGM” (Musical Gifted Men) in 1989. MGM recorded and released their first single “Why You Wanna Play With Me”. Kelly signed with Jive Records in 1991 and since then continued his singing career.

His Success

In 1992 he released his debut album “Born Into The 90’s”. His debut album proved to be a huge hit with the hits “Slow Dance (Hey Mr. Dj)” and “Honey Love”.

In 1993, his first single, “Bump N ‘Grind”, topped the pop charts. He was hailed as the king of R&B, and in 1996 he released a super hit called “I Believe I Can Fly” which won him three Grammy Awards in 1997.

R Kelly has worked with artists around the world, including Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, and Gladys Knight.

He remained the king of R&B through the 1990s. In 1998, he released his album “R” where he performed a duet with Celine Dion entitled “I’m Your Angel”, which was sold in over 7 million copies.

In 1999 Kelly and Sean “Puffy” Combs reached the top with the “Satisfy You” song and two years later, Kelly joined rap king Jay-Z to create another hit, “Fiesta”.

Overall, R Kelly has released three collaboration albums, five compilation albums, and 14 studio albums. Also, besides his three Grammys, he won dozens of awards including many Billboard awards, a BET award, and several AMAs. In 2013 he released the “Black Panties” album and in 2015 released “The Buffet” album. Between 1994 and 2013 he participated in 12 official world tours.

Personal Life and Scandals

R Kelly was secretly married to Aaliyah in 1994, but their marriage was annulled later. In 1996 he married the dancer Andrea Lee with whom he had three children. They divorced in 2009.

Over time R Kelly‘s career went through various controversies. He was charged and arrested for allegedly having sex with an underage girl. However, he was acquitted of all accusations.

Kelly’s lost fortune

If R. Kelly had never had legal problems, his net worth would have easily exceeded $150 million to $200 million. Over the years, Kelly has paid tens of millions of dollars to settle dozens of lawsuits filed by women who have been abused by the singer. Kelly has lost much of his net worth after divorcing his wife Andrea Lee between 1996 and 2009, the most successful years of his career.

In 2012, it was announced that Kelly had to pay $5 million for taxes that he hadn’t paid for seven years. One year later, in 2013, he lost his home in Chicago for foreclosure because he hadn’t paid his mortgage since 2010. Also, in 2018, after failing to pay more than $30,000 for rent and taxes he was evicted from two homes in Atlanta.  He currently lives in a rented house in the Trump Tower in Chicago.

Legal and financial problems

R Kelly in CourtR Kelly released a 19 minutes song on Spotify in July 2018 where he approached many of his accusations. In this song, Kelly said that he is broke and he needs to tour around because he needs money for paying the rent. Also, he says that he has to pay the IRS $20 million. He has so many financial problems because he cannot tour around the world due to his controversies and the tours in the United States are often blocked by protesters. Moreover, Spotify and other music streaming platforms have stopped including Kelly’s song in their own public playlists. However, Spotify users can still listen to Kelly’s song from their own accounts, but this song will not be recommended in public playlists such as Discover Weekly.

In January 2019 R Kelly’s recording studio has been inspected by the Chicago building inspectors after there have been reports regarding many illegal renovations. This studio has not even been owned by Kelly. It was rented since 2017, but Kelly had not paid the rent for seven months. The building owner had filed a lawsuit against R Kelly for the unpaid rent. At the time of the filling, R Kelly owed the landlord $167,000.

Kelly’s problems don’t stop here. His record label RCA/Sony revealed in 2019 that they were putting all of Kelly’s future music releases on hold, which means that he could not earn any more money.

Kelly was arrested for a series of new accusations in late February 2019. The bail was set at $1 million, but a $100,000 payment was enough. This sum of $100,000 was paid by a woman called Valencia Love whose exact relationship with R Kelly is not clear. As it was not enough, ex-wife Andrea filed a suit asking for $160,000 worth of unpaid child support, when Kelly was in jail.

Alec Pow
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