Home » TV & Movies » Who is R Kelly, when was the singer married to Aaliyah and who has accused him of having a 'one-man sex cult'?

Who is R Kelly, when was the singer married to Aaliyah and who has accused him of having a 'one-man sex cult'?

R KELLY is one of the most successful R&B artists of all time, but his career has been overshadowed with numerous allegations of sexual abuse dating.

We explain everything you need to know about the claims and his recent imprisonment – including the musician's relationship with Aaliyah.

Who is R Kelly?

R Kelly, 52, was born on January 8, 1967.

The singer's real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly and he grew up in Chicago with his single mother, Joanne.

He got his breakthrough in 1989 when he took part in TV talent show Big Break, winning the $100,000 prize and going on to release his first album in 1992.

Since releasing his debut album, Born In The 90s, which was co-credited with Public Announcement, R. Kelly has released a further 11 solo studio albums.

His biggest hits include She's Got That Vibe, Bump N' Grind, I Believe I Can Fly and Ignition (Remix).

He has an estimated net worth of £790,680 – equivalent to roughly $1million – but had he not experienced numerous lawsuits over the years it is likely that the singer would be worth a lot more today.

He has sold 100 million records worldwide and has been nicknamed the 'King of R&B'.

R Kelly also set up his own record label – Rockland Records – in 1998.

When was R Kelly married to Aaliyah and Andrea Lee?

The Chicago Sun-Times and Vibe claim R Kelly and his then 15-year-old protege Aaliyah were illegally married in a secret wedding ceremony on August 31, 1994.

The singers had been introduced to each other three years previously by Aaliyah's uncle.

The marriage was annulled in February 1995 at the request of the teen's family.

However, both R Kelly and Aaliyah denied the marriage even took place and insisted their relationship was never more than friends.

In the 2019 documentary Surviving R Kelly, his backing singer Jovante Cunningham claims that she saw the star having sex with a then underage Aaliyah on a tour bus in 1994.

R Kelly married his former back up dancer Andrea Lee in 1996, however, the couple divorced in January 2009.

She has since appeared on reality series, Hollywood Exes.

How many children does R Kelly have?

R Kelly has three children from his marriage to Andrea,  daughter Joann, son Robert Kelly Jr. and transgender son Jay.

Jay was previously known as Jaya, but confirmed on social media in 2014 that despite being born female, he had identified as male from the age of "six or seven".

At the time, he said his mother had known for a year and had been extremely supportive of his decision.

He wrote in a blog: "My mom was like, 'Baby, you know I love you if you were bi, gay, lesbian, you name it and I would still love you so much'."

What's the latest?

R Kelly has been charged with ten counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

His bail has been set at $1 million, which means the singer has to pay 10% of that value to leave prison.

During the bail hearing in Chicago Greenberg argued that Kelly was not wealthy despite him being one of the best-selling music artists in the US with over 30 million albums sold.

His lawyer said his financial problems had been caused by mismanagement, bad contracts and other issues.

If convicted he faces three to seven years on each count, said Cook County State's Attorney Kimberly Foxx.

What has R Kelly said about the allegations against him?

The 52-year-old singer insisted he is innocent of the allegations that he sexually assaulted four women – including three underage girls.

He furiously dismissed the claims in his first interview after getting charged in February.

R Kelly agitated and banged on his chest as he exploded: “Stop it, quit playing. I didn’t do this stuff. This is not me. I’m fighting for my f***ing life.”

At one point, it appeared he needed to be physically restrained.

What are the R Kelly 'sex cult' allegations?

R Kelly has faced previous allegations of sexual misconduct.

He was acquitted in 2008 on charges of making child pornography, despite a videotape of an alleged encounter with a 14-year-old girl being shown to prosecutors.

R Kelly has denied recent claims he is "holding young women against their will" in a one-man "sex cult".

Parents have reportedly told BuzzFeed News that the star, real name Robert Kelly, is keeping six young women at his properties in Atlanta and Chicago.

It’s reported they’re only allowed to use mobile phones provided by Kelly, must call him “daddy,” and can only eat, sleep or wash when he lets them.

Kelly also films their sexual encounters, say the reports.

One young woman Joycelyn Savage has said she is safe and “in a happy place” after her family alleged she was being held by him at a secret location in Atlanta.

She insisted to TMZ that she was fine but refused to answer if she was free to come and go.

Jerhonda Pace claims she had underage sex with R Kelly at the age of 16 and was "trained" to please him.

She alleges the singer would "physically harm her" and "lock her in a room for days" as punishment.

He was then accused of infecting Faith Rodgers, 19, with an STD on purpose.

She was reportedly in an eight-month relationship with him after meeting him at a gig in San Antonio, Texas and filed the lawsuit for "willfully, deliberately and maliciously" infecting her with herpes.

Kelly has firmly denied these allegations.

He said they have left him "heartbroken" and has criticised the media for trying to distort and destroy his legacy with claims that he sexually mistreats women.

What allegations has R Kelly's ex-girlfriend Kitti Jones made against him?

A shocking BBC Three documentary claims the star had a "sex dungeon" and  “trained” a fourteen-year-old schoolgirl to be one his “pets”.

The accusations – made on 'R Kelly: Sex, Girls and Videotapes' – are from the RnB star's former girlfriend Kitti Jones.

Speaking to reporter Ben Zand, she claimed she was introduced to the girl while she was still dating Kelly between 2011 and 2013.

She said Kelly then told her he had "trained" the young teen since she was 14.

Jones said: "I saw that she was dressed like me, that she was saying the things I'd say and her mannerisms were like mine. "That's when it clicked in my head that he had been grooming me to become one of his pets. He calls them his pets."

Jones claims she was also forced into sex with Kelly and at least 10 others in his "sex dungeon".

What other sexual allegations have been made against the star?

The 2019 documentary features accounts of alleged female victims who waived their right to anonymity to claim they were sexually abused, bullied into threesomes, impregnated, held prisoner and beaten for looking at other men.

In the series, backing singer Jovante Cunningham claims that, like so many of Kelly’s young lovers, she was lured from outside her school to “hang out” at the star’s Chicago music studio where women lay on beds around the property simply waiting for him.

Another backing singer, Lizzette Martinez, met R Kelly when she was 17. After making one of his regular visits to the mall to scout for young girls, she says he took a shine to her.

R Kelly's collaborator Lovell Jones alleged his taste in younger women was "common knowledge in the camp".

He said the singer would ask him to find girls that "looked young" at after-show parties.

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