Despite the controversies surrounding R. Kelly’s name, it can’t be denied that he’s one of the pillars of R&B music. He earned the titles of the King of R&B, the King of Pop-Soul and Pied Piper of R&B for helping redefine R&B and hip hop.
During his heyday, R. Kelly could earn millions of dollars, amassing a huge fortune. However, all that changed after facing a number of lawsuits, being arrested and being charged with allegedly sleeping with underage girls.
So, how much fortune does the singer-songwriter still have today?
The Start of R. Kelly’s Career and Success
The 55-year-old personality released his debut album, 12 Play, in 1993. His single, “Bump n’ Grind,” became a big hit that made the EP certified six times platinum.
He also produced records for other artists, like the then-teenage pop star Aaliyah. He then released his 1995 album, R. Kelly, selling 4 million copies, while his single “I Believe I Can Fly” became a chart-topper.
Come the 2000s, he continuously released multi-platinum albums and the multi-part hip-hop opera Trapped in the Closet.
In total, he has dropped 14 studio albums, five compilation albums and three collaboration albums. He has also earned accolades, like Grammys, AMAs, BET, and several Billboard awards.
His latest albums, Black Panties and The Buffet, were released in 2013 and 2015. He also held 12 tours around the world from 1994 to 2013.
The Fall of R. Kelly
From one of the most famous R&B singers, R. Kelly started to face several legal problems that eventually resulted in his gradual fall. According to reports, he paid tens of millions of dollars to settle dozens of lawsuits against him filed by several women he allegedly abused.
Add to that losing a huge amount of his net worth after divorcing his former wife, Andrea Lee, it dramatically affected his financial status.
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There were also reports that he had $5 million in unpaid taxes in 2012 and lost his Chicago home to foreclosure in 2013 after not paying the mortgage for three years. He was also evicted from two Atlanta rental homes after failing to pay back rent and fees.
He even claimed he was broke and needed to tour to pay for his rent in a 19-minute song he released on Spotify in 2018. He admitted owing $20 million to IRS and borrowed millions of dollars from his label to pay his bills.
His financial struggle stemmed from not being able to hold tour tours due to the controversies he’s facing. Spotify and other streaming services have stopped including his songs on their public playlists.
His record label, RCA/Sony, put all of his future music releases on hold, making him unable to earn more money. It also refused to fund his music videos.
All these issues leave R. Kelly with -$2 million of net worth, per Celebrity Net Worth. He could have been $50-$100 million rich today had he never had any legal problems.
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