R,Kelly at The Fox Theater

R. Kelly’s Net Worth in 2023

R. Kelly’s Net Worth is Negative $2 Million

R. Kelly was once making us all believe we could fly and getting us to dance to the beat of “Ignition”. Those were the days when R. Kelly was climbing up to the top of the music mountain. Those days are now gone.

In the ’90s, R. Kelly was the king of the Billboard Top 40. He was notches above so many of the other male solo artists that his earnings from that prosperous period in his life is unimaginable. Today, that money has evaporated. Today, R. Kelly’s net worth sits at negative $2 million.

This isn’t the usual celeb money story where the bank account grows with every hit single. R. Kelly’s meteoric rise and precipitous fall from grace is plagued with legal drama and scandal, and ends with a once-revered artist behind bars.

NameRobert Sylvester Kelly
ProfessionSinger, Songwriter and Record Producer
Net WorthNegative $2 Million
BirthplaceChicago, Illinois, USA
BirthdayJanuary 8, 1967 (Capricorn)
Height / Weight6 ft. 1 in. (185 cm)
Relationship statusSingle

A Glimpse into R Kelly’s Early Life and Ascending Music Career

R. Kelly grew up as a regular kid in South Side Chicago. His dad wasn’t in the picture, his mom had a rough time and later battled cancer, but she made sure he learned the importance of faith. That faith, coupled with the racy vibes of his tracks, cooked up a unique flavor in R. Kelly’s tunes.

He strolled out of Kenwood Academy High School with one clear goal: to make it big in music. Thanks to his mentor, Lena McLin, who pushed him to look beyond daily grind and into his musical future, he bloomed. Along with his friends, Kelly formed the group Public Announcement. Their debut album, Born into the ’90s, came out in 1992 and featured silky tunes and hip-hop beats that pinned R. Kelly as a key player in the R&B scene.

But R. Kelly, having gone solo, skyrocketed to fame with his masterpiece, “I Believe I Can Fly”. originally featured on the Space Jam soundtrack. It became a smash hit, bagging three Grammys, including Best R&B Song. Riding that wave, he kept dropping hit after hit like “Bump n’ Grind”, “I’m Your Angel”, and the groovy, “Step in the Name of Love”. By late ’90s and early 2000s, he was crowned the king of R&B with numerous Billboard Top 40 hits. Kelly was in a league all his own.

The Controversies of R. Kelly

Despite the auspicious beginning to his career, R. Kelly became headline fodder with accusations about sex cults and multiple sexual misconduct lawsuits, throwing him into the world’s spotlight in the worst way possible.

People started to sit up and pay attention to these allegations against Kelly in the late ’90s and early 2000s, which frequently involved his interactions with underaged girls. In 1996, for instance, he was sued for emotional distress and personal injuries by Tiffany Hawkins, who was only 15 years old when she began seeing Kelly, then 24. That was just one of many such lawsuits, which generally ended in out-of-court settlements.

In 2002, he was accused of child sexual abuse imagery, coaxing a minor into those images, and trying to rope in minors for sex. At the end of the lengthy six-year trial, though, he got off without a guilty verdict because they couldn’t definitively ID the girl in the alleged video.

Amid the turmoil and scandal, Kelly released new music, including the popular song “Trapped in The Closet” in 2005. Matters came to a head when, in 2017, the website Buzzfeed accused Kelly of keeping six women in a sex “cult.” These accusations were just a glimpse of what was to come.

In 2019, he got hit with a flurry of federal indictments for all sorts of terrible acts, which ended up in a 20-year prison sentence in February 2023.

Revenues from R. Kelly’s Music Career: The Rise and Fall

Back in the ’90s and early ’00s, R. Kelly was the king of R&B. His hits like “Ignition” (2003), “I Believe I Can Fly” (1995), flooded the Billboard charts, and brought in some serious cash.

For R. Kelly, his mounting legal troubles drained that serious cash, with his royalties turning into a lifeline for his victims. The courts ordered Kelly’s label, Universal, to pay Kelly’s victims $567,444.19 of royalties intended for Kelly. According to insider gossip, this money was used to compensate Kelly’s victims beyond the meagre $27,000 they had already received.

With Kelly’s name plastered over every scandal and allegation, social campaigns like the #MuteRKelly gained momentum. Their aim was to get record labels and streaming platforms to cut him loose or downplay his music. The strategy has seemingly paid off, as we can’t recall the last time we heard an R. Kelly track on the radio, TV, or in public.

R. Kelly’s Once-Luxurious Lifestyle

When it comes to property, R Kelly was no newbie. He owned a fancy set of houses, which he would sell off and pocket the profit. His 8,400 sq. ft. Lakeview property, for example, was purchased in ’94; Kelly sold the Chicago-area home in 2002 for $2.25 million.

The other property of note was his 11,455 sq. ft. Atlanta home. It was here that he held women captive and forced them to do his bidding. It went for $1.7 million in June 2023.

R. Kelly’s Personal Life: Love, Family, and Controversies

R. Kelly has been married twice. In 1994, he secretly tied the knot with 15-year-old superstar Aaliyah. But that marriage went up in smoke the next year when her real age was revealed. He married Andrea Lee Kelly, a dancer and choreographer, in 1996. Together, they had three kids but the romance fizzled out and they called it quits in 2009.

Of his kids, Joann, also known as Buku Abi, is following dad’s lead and making her own way in the music world. Jay is into music too, dishing out tunes under the name JaahBaby. And then there’s Robert Kelly Jr., the youngest, who prefers to avoid the public view.