R. Kelly's Life, From Troubled Talent to Trafficking Trial

R. Kelly grew up in Chicago's housing projects and went on to have an illustrious musical career increasingly clouded by allegations of lurid behavior and sexual abuse.

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R. Kelly has long faced and denied allegations of lurid behavior and sex abuse. A jury has now found him guilty of sex trafficking in a federal trial in New York stemming from those allegations.

A timeline of Kelly’s life:

— Jan. 8, 1967: Robert Sylvester Kelly born in Chicago as third of four children of schoolteacher Joann Kelly. Little is known about his father.

— 1975: Kelly begins singing in church. Around that time, years of sexual abuse by an adult relative begins, according to his 2012 memoir.

— 1979: Kelly witnesses a rape at age 12.

— 1983: Mother moves family from Chicago housing projects and enrolls Kelly in the prestigious Kenwood Academy.

— 1984: Performs Stevie Wonder hit “Ribbon in the Sky" in a talent show. In following years, he performs in subway stations with his keyboard, often feigning blindness to avoid arrest.

— 1990: His R&B group MGM wins $100,000 grand prize on the show “Big Break." Jive Records executive Wayne Williams discovers Kelly singing at a barbecue.

— January 1992: R. Kelly & Public Announcement debuts “Born Into The ’90s.” Album released the following year goes platinum.

— November 1993: His album “12 Play” is released and eventually sells more than 5 million copies. Hit singles include “Sex Me” and “Bump N’ Grind."

— Aug. 31, 1994: At 27, R. Kelly marries 15-year-old singer Aaliyah D. Haughton in a secret ceremony. Marriage is annulled months later because of Aaliyah’s age.

— September 1994: Aaliyah’s debut album, “Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number,” which Kelly produced, goes platinum. Aaliyah dies in a plane crash seven years later at age 22.

— 1996: Releases third album “R. Kelly" and incorporates Rockland Records. Song “I Believe I Can Fly" is a huge hit. Marries 22-year-old dancer Andrea Lee, and they go on to have three children: Joanne, Jaya and Robert Jr.

— Feb. 18, 1997: Tiffany Hawkins files a complaint alleging sexual battery and harassment when she was a minor.

— January 1998: Hawkins’ lawsuit is reportedly settled for $250,000.

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

— November 1998: Album “R.” hits stores and eventually sells 6 million copies.

— November 2000: Album “TP-2.com” debuts at No. 1.

— August 2001: Tracy Sampson sues Kelly, alleging their sex was illegal under Illinois law because he was in a position of authority. Case is reportedly settled out of court.

— Feb. 8, 2002: Chicago Sun-Times reports that it received a videotape showing Kelly having sex with a minor and that police had begun investigating related allegations three years earlier. The girl and her parents deny the relationship. The same day, Kelly performs at the opening ceremonies for the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

— June 5, 2002: Kelly indicted in Chicago on child porn charges stemming from the sex tape, pleads not guilty and is released on bail.

— January 2003: Kelly is arrested at a Florida hotel on child porn charges after investigators say they found photos of him with a girl. Charges are later dropped after a judge rules police didn’t have a warrant.

— Feb. 18, 2003: Album “Chocolate Factory” is released to immediate success.

— July 2005: Album “TP.3 Reloaded" hits No. 1.

— September 2005: Andrea Kelly asks for order of protection, accusing her husband of hitting her when she asked for a divorce.

— February 2006: Carey Kelly says his brother offered him $50,000 and a record deal to say he was the person in the sex video.

— May 29, 2007: Album “Double Up" is released and later hits No. 1.

— May 9, 2008: Child pornography trial begins.

— June 13, 2008: Kelly is acquitted after fast jury deliberations.

— Jan 8, 2009: Kelly and Andrea confirm they divorced.

— July 12, 2011: Crain’s Chicago Business reports a $2.9 million foreclosure was filed on Kelly’s suburban Chicago mansion. Spokesperson says Kelly is not having financial trouble.

— March 21, 2012: Kelly announces he is reviving a video series, “Trapped in the Closet,” that eventually becomes a rap opera about a web of sexual deceit. There is talk of a Broadway show.

— June 15, 2012: Chicago Sun-Times reports Kelly owes the IRS more than $4.8 million.

— June 27, 2012: Publishes autobiography “Soulacoaster: The Diary of Me,” focusing on his creative and family life.

— March 18, 2013: Mansion once valued at more than $5 million sells for $950,000 at auction.

— 2017: BuzzFeed reports on parents’ claims that Kelly brainwashed their daughters. Activists launch #MuteRKelly movement, calling for boycotts of his music.

— Feb. 13, 2018: Kelly is evicted from two Atlanta-area homes over more than $31,000 in unpaid rent.

— April 2018: Time’s Up campaign joins #MuteRKelly and pushes for investigation. Kelly’s camp responds: “We will vigorously resist this attempted public lynching of a black man who has made extraordinary contributions to our culture.”

— May 2018: Spotify cuts R. Kelly’s music from its playlists. Apple and Pandora soon stop promoting his music.

— May 21, 2018: Faith Rodgers, 20, suesR. Kelly, alleging sexual battery, mental and verbal abuse, and of knowingly inflicting her with herpes.

— Jan. 3, 2019: Lifetime airs “Surviving R. Kelly,” revisiting old allegations and airing new ones. It follows 2018's “R Kelly: Sex, Girls & Videotapes" on BBC.

— Jan. 9, 2019: Lady Gaga says she will remove 2013 duet with Kelly from streaming services.

— Jan. 14, 2019: Rodgers says Kelly threatened to reveal embarrassing details of her sexual history if she didn’t drop May 2018 lawsuit.

— Jan. 21, 2019: News reports say Kelly and his label, Sony subsidiary RCA Records, part ways. Fellow musicians including Celine Dion further distance themselves.

— Feb. 6, 2019: Kelly tweets about a new tour of Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka, then deletes it following backlash.

— Feb. 14, 2019: Attorney Michael Avenatti says he gave Chicago prosecutors new video evidence of Kelly with a girl.

— Feb. 22, 2019: Kelly is arrested and charged with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse.

— Feb. 25, 2019: Kelly pleads not guilty,posts bail and is released from Chicago jail.

— March 2019: In CBS interview, Kelly denies sexual abuse charges. Authorities in Illinois take Kelly into custody after he tells a judge he can't pay $161,000 in back child support.

— May 30, 2019: Kelly is charged with 11 new counts in Chicago involving a woman who accused him of abusing her when she was underage.

— July 11, 2019: Kelly is indicted in Chicago on federal charges including child pornography. Separate federal indictment in New York includes charges of racketeering. He is again arrested in Chicago.

— July 16, 2019: Judge orders Kelly held without bond.

— Aug. 2, 2019: Kelly pleads not guilty to sexually abusing women and girls who attended his concerts. His lawyers call them disgruntled groupies.

— Aug. 5, 2019: Kelly is charged in Minnesota with solicitinga 17-year-old.

— Oct. 2, 2019: Kelly is denied bail in his New York City case.

— Dec. 5, 2019: Kelly is charged with paying a bribe in exchange for a “fraudulent identification document” a day before he married Aaliyah. He later pleads not guilty.

— March 5, 2020: Kellypleads not guilty in Chicago to an updated federal indictment that includes a new accuser.

— Aug. 12, 2020: Charges announced against three men accused of threatening and intimidating women who accused Kelly of abuse.

— Aug. 14, 2020: Kelly’s manager is arrested in California on charges that he threatened a shooting at a Manhattan theater two years before, forcing the cancellation of a screening of a documentary about allegations against R. Kelly.

— July 24, 2021: Federal prosecutors say Kellyhad sexual contact with a boy in addition to girls, and the government wants trial jurors to hear those claims.

— Aug. 18, 2021: Opening statements begin in Kelly's federal trial in New York.

— Sept. 24, 2021: Jury begins deliberating in the New York trial, even as trial dates in Illinois and Minnesota cases remain to be set.

— Sept. 27, 2021: The jury finds R. Kelly guilty of sex trafficking and violating the Mann Act, which makes it illegal to take anyone across state lines “for any immoral purpose.”


See the AP’s full coverage of the investigations into R. Kelly.

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