R Kelly Net Worth: Negative $1.3 Million For 2023?

R Kelly, also known as Robert Sylvester Kelly, is a US-based singer, songwriter, and record producer who was on top of his game in the late 90s and late 2000s before his legal troubles started. His life took a dramatic turn after being convicted for several offenses that landed him behind bars.

Before that, he was dubbed “King of RnB” by many of his fans in America and worldwide. He is one of the best-selling solo artists of all time, selling over 75 million records worldwide.

In this article, we will delve deep into R Kelly’s net worth, his early life, his rise, and his fall from grace to grass.

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What is R. Kelly’s Net Worth?

R Kelly Net Worth

R Kelly was once believed to be worth approximately $100 million at the height of his career but is now buried in debt. He is believed to be $1.3 million in debt.

Mr. Kelly lost all his money paying lawyers and settling with women for millions of dollars.

How R Kelly’s accumulated His Net Worth

After a decade of releasing chart-topping songs, R Kelly was entitled to earn millions of dollars from loyalties and streaming revenue from music videos and audio. It is reported that most record companies still withhold close to $5 million in loyalties since his saga began.

In his glory days, R Kelly toured all over the globe selling out arenas and merchandise wherever he performed. It’s not quite clear how much money he made from touring but it made up a chunk of his $100 million net worth. He went on more than 50 tours and concerts throughout his singing career.

Other major names in music we’ve covered here include EminemDrakeDr Dre, and Kanye West.

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R Kelly’s Childhood

R Kelly’s birth name is Robert Sylvester Kelly. He was born on the 8th of 1967, in Chicago. His mother, Joanne, raised him together with other five siblings in a housing project on the south side of Chicago. The identity of his father is still unknown.

Kelly’s mother brought him up in a Christian way and thus was introduced to the church at a tender age. Robert Kelly started singing while in the church choir at only eight years.

R Kelly attended a prestigious school in 1980 known as Kenwood Academy High School where he met, Lena McLin, his music teacher. R Kelly was actively involved in sports (mostly basketball) at school but his music teacher convinced him to join Music Club.

He reluctantly joined the music club at first but came to love it after performing at the high school talent show. Kelly began to perform exemplarily well and even won first prize. This was a turning point in R Kelly’s life. Sadly, he dropped out of school after being diagnosed with dyslexia but went on with music by performing in the Subway.

His childhood was not a bed of roses since he endured a lot of trauma and abuse. He once narrated that he suffered physical and sexual abuse from some of his family members. He suffered in silence for years and nearly took his life because of the misery he went through. Most of these heart-wrenching experiences can be found in his autobiography “Soulacoster; The Diary of Me”.

R Kelly’s family and Personal life

R Kelly’s first marriage was marred with controversies. He married a famous songstress by the name of Aaliyah Dana Haughton in 1994. It was believed that Aaliyah was underage (fifteen years) when they secretly married each other on August 31st, 1994.

R Kelly secretely married Aaliyah when she was a minor

R Kelly was 27 at the time. The marriage was scrutinized carefully and annulled in 1995 after they admitted that they had falsified documents. Aaliyah passed on in an airplane accident on August 25th, 2001.

In 1996, R Kelly then married Andrea Lee Kelly and had three children together. Andrea Kelly worked as a professional backup dancer when they met. This marriage lasted for nearly twelve years before Andrea filed for divorce after citing physical and verbal abuse from Mr. Kelly. The divorce was finalized in 2006.

R Kelly’s Career

His Big Break

His professional big break came after winning the $100,000 cash prize on a TV show called “Big Break” with his music group, Musically Gifted Men (MGM) which he had formed in 1989 with Marc McWilliams, Vincent Walker and Shawn Brooks. On the talent show, MGM performed “All My Love.”

Mr. Kelly’s prominence grew after he signed his first professional deal with Jive Records in 1991 and released a debut album titled “Born in the 90s” in 1992. The album was a success with hits like Slow Dance (Hey Mr. Dj) and Honey Love.

R Kelly’s rise in the music industry

R Kelly embarked on a solo career by releasing his first solo album “12 play” on November 1993. The album consists of hit singles such as Bump N Grind, Your Body’s Calling, and Summer Bunnies among others.

R Kelly was on top of his game in the late 90s and late 2000s

It topped RnB charts in the US for many weeks after release, including the Billboard 200 chart. The album sold over 6 million copies in the United States alone and went Platinum six times. He was undoubtedly the best male solo artist that year in the RnB category.

R Kelly’s Music Honors

R Kelly was at the peak of his career in the late 90s and the late 2000s, achieving global success and recognition. He has released 13 studio albums throughout his career and produced songs for several music heavyweights in the industry such as Janet Jackson, Changing Faces, etc. He has also done 5 compilation albums cutting across many song genres.

R Kelly’s Music Honors

In 1995, R Kelly was recognized and got his first ever Grammy nomination for his input as a record producer in the making of the Michael Jackson hit song “You Are Not Alone”. On November 1995, he released a self-titled album R. Kelly that continued to elevate his status topping the Billboard chart and other RnB charts all over the country.

In 1996, he released his single “I believe I can fly”. This song won him three Grammy awards in 1998. He won the American Music Awards as the favorite Male RnB artist, BET awards artist of the year, and had several Grammy nominations in 2000.

Kelly collaborated with major stars like Whitney Houston, Gladys Knight, and Michael Jackson.

R Kelly’s Record Label

As a talented music producer, R Kelly launched his own record company Rockland Records after striking a deal with Interscope Records in 98’. He signed artists like Sparkle, Talent, Vegas Cats, Lady, and Rebecca F just to name a few.

Other than collaborating with RnB artists like him, he collaborated with artists from other genres as a songwriter, or a record producer He has worked with hip hop music artists like Jay Z, P. Diddy, Nas, Destiny’s child, and many more.

R Kelly’s Problems with Law Enforcement

R Kelly was no stranger to law enforcement throughout his singing career. It came to light that he had engaged with under aged girls back in 2000 after a reputable news outlet Chicago Sun first wrote about these incidences. Investigations were conducted and it was later determined that the allegations were true.

R Kelly’s Problems with Law Enforcement

According to the victims who came out to report the abuse, R Kelly repeatedly invited underage girls to his mansions and performed unspeakable sexual activities with them or on them. Among some of the lawsuits against Kelly involved a teenage girl named Tiffany Hawkins whom the court awarded $250,000 in damages.

In 2002, R Kelly was in the news for all the wrong reasons again. It involved a viral video of him sexually abusing a minor. He came out strongly denying his involvement in such activities and that it was not him on the video. He was arrested months after the news broke but posted bail of $350,000.

Later in January 2003, he was charged with 14 counts for possessing materials with child pornography after a house search was done. He was arrested but posted bail of $12,000. After months of investigators combing through evidence all charges were dropped due to lack of “sufficient evidence” to convict him.

Another notable incident involves bribery charges brought against him in 2019 relating to his illegal marriage to Aaliyah. R Kelly allegedly bribed some officials to fabricate information on their marriage certificate so as to make it look like Aaliyah was of legal age for marriage.

It is believed that this was done hurriedly after they learned that she was pregnant and he married her to save his reputation. The marriage was ruled illegal and the marriage certificate was expunged.

R Kelly’s Conviction

On February 2019, R Kelly was charged with ten counts of sexual misconduct from 1998 to 2010 brought by the State’s Attorney in Illinois. R Kelly presented himself to the police where he was placed under custody by the Chicago Police. He pleaded not guilty to the sex trafficking charges and was released on bail.

R Kelly’s Conviction

Following a series of federal indictments and arrests he stood in front of a jury on August 9, 2021. R Kelly’s trial involved testimonies from his accusers and visual evidence (not shown to the public) as proof of the nine counts against him.

Jury’s verdict

R Kelly was found guilty on 9 counts which includes one count of Racketeering and eight counts violating the “Mann Act”. Facing life imprisonment, R Kelly awaited the jury’s verdict at a detention center in Brooklyn.

R Kelly learned of the verdict on June 29th, 2022 which was 30 years in prison for the crimes he committed. Currently, R Kelly is incarcerated in a Chicago prison and is still under investigation following pending lawsuits and criminal cases filed against him that are yet to be determined.

Reactions after guilty verdict

The embattled singer faced a lot of criticism from his fans and fellow artists after being found guilty on all charges against him. Prominent people came out condemning his actions including those he worked with before. R kelly reportedly lost his properties to the government (seized), his luxury car collection (also seized) brand deals, and endorsements.

RCA Records discontinued any working relations with the disgraced singer immediately while Spotify (an online streaming service) removed all of his songs from all playlists. Since then, R kelly net worth is now negative considering he owes millions of dollars of unpaid taxes.

Unpaid Taxes

It was publicized that R Kelly is deep in debt with the IRS after they claimed that he owes $5 million in unpaid taxes dating back to 2000. According to the agency, he further owed over $1.2 million in unpaid taxes in 2016. However, he was ordered to pay the taxman a fine of $100,000 during his verdict which landed him in jail.

After divorcing his wife Andrea, he allegedly didn’t pay child support. Andrea filed for a civil lawsuit demanding $160,000 as child support he negated paying.


R Kelly was once living a life many would only dream of having a net worth close to $100 million. Now, he is living a life that no one would want to live. Currently, he is bankrupt and a convicted sex offender with an estimated net worth of $ -1.3 million.

It’s evident that throughout his career, he has spent tens of millions of dollars to settle lawsuits against him and to cover up his wrongdoings in an attempt to save his reputation. It’s also worth mentioning that r kelly’s net worth decreased after divorcing his former wife Andrea lee.

Finally, R Kelly’s net worth is a tragic example of rising to the top and falling hard after fame and fortune.

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David Fortune has been the editor NoBSIMReviews.com since 2019. He is an expert at writing content on stock advisory services, side hustles, reviewing online business opportunities and many more topics. You can learn more about David on our about us page.

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