R. Kelly timeline: Shining star to convicted sex trafficker

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R&B superstar R. Kelly’s musical achievements have long been fueled by allegations that he sexually abused women and children. The singer now faces a jury verdict in his hometown of Chicago, accusing him of rigging a 2008 child pornography trial and luring minors into sex.

The deliberations that began on Tuesday follow weeks of testimony and come after three decades behind bars on federal sex trafficking charges in New York in June. While Kelly, who was born as Robert Sylvester Kelly, has vehemently denied the allegations, his accusers testified that he subjected him to perverted and tragic whims when he was young.

A timeline of Kelly’s life through her rise and fall as an R&B artist:

— 1990: R. Kelly’s R&B group MGM won the $100,000 grand prize on “Big Break,” the syndicated television talent show hosted by Natalie Cole. Due to a dispute over money, this is the last time the group performed together.

– January 1992: R. Kelly and Public Announce Debut “Born Into the ’90s.” Released a year later, the album went platinum.

– November 1993: His album “12 Plays” is released and has sold over 5 million copies. Hit singles include “Sex Me” and “Bump N’ Grind”, which became the longest-running No. 1 R&B song in more than 30 years.

– August 31, 1994: At the age of 27, R. Kelly married 15-year-old R&B singer Aaliyah D. Houghton in a secret ceremony hosted by Kelly at a Chicago hotel. The marriage is annulled after months because of Aaliya’s age. (Alia died seven years later at the age of 22 in a plane crash.)

– November 1996: R. Kelly released her third album, “R. Kelly.” A month later, they incorporated Rockland Records. Their song “I Believe I Can Fly”, from the “Space Jam” soundtrack, peaked at number 2 on the Billboard pop chart. In the same year, he married 22-year-old Andrea Lee, a dancer in his touring troupe. The couple has three children together: Joan, Jaya and Robert Jr.

– February 1998: Kelly wins three Grammys for “I Believe I Can Fly”.

– August 2001: Tracy Sampson sues Kelly, alleging that their sex was illegal under Illinois law because he was in a “position of authority” over her. The case was settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.

– February 8, 2002: The Chicago Sun-Times reports that it received a videotape purportedly showing Kelly having sex with a minor. The newspaper reports that Chicago police began investigating allegations about Kelly and the same girl three years ago. At the time, the girl and her parents denied that she was having sex with Kelly.

The day this news arrives, Kelly performs at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

– June 5, 2002: Kelly is indicted in Chicago on child pornography charges related to a sex tape. He pleads not guilty and is released on $750,000 bail.

– May 9, 2008: Kelly’s child pornography trial begins.

– June 13, 2008: After less than a day of deliberation, Kelly is acquitted on all counts.

– June 27, 2012: Kelly publishes her autobiography, “Soulcoaster: The Diary of Me”, which focused on her creative and family life rather than her legal troubles.

– September 29, 2012: Kelly is nominated for two Soul Train Awards, making her the most nominated act of all time at an award show.

— July 17, 2017: BuzzFeed reports on parents’ claims that Kelly brainwashed their daughters and placed them in a derogatory “cult.” One woman says she was with Kelly voluntarily. Activists started the #MuteRKelly movement calling for a boycott of his music.

– May 2018: Spotify cuts R. Kelly’s music from its playlist, citing its policy on hateful conduct. Shortly after, Apple and Pandora also stopped promoting her music. Kelly’s team backs down, noting that other artists on Spotify have been accused or convicted of crimes.

— January 3, 2019: Lifetime airs the documentary “Surviving Are Kelly,” which reviews old allegations and headlines new ones. The BBC’s “R Kelly: Sex, Girls and Videotape”, released last year, alleged that the singer held women against their will.

– January 21, 2019: Multiple media outlets reported that Kelly and her label, RCA Records, a subsidiary of Sony, are separated. Kelly continues to deny all allegations of abuse.

– February 22, 2019: Kelly is arrested and charged with 10 counts of serious sexual abuse.

– February 25, 2019: Kelly’s lawyer pleads not guilty on the singer’s behalf. Hours later,…

Credit: www.independent.co.uk /

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