R. Kellys Estimated Net Worth Will Shock You

R. Kelly’s work is vocalized behind the highly sexualized lyrics of the song Sex Me, Down Low (Nobody Has to Know), Your Body’s Calling, Bump N Grind, Ignition, and many other classic hits of the early 2000s. He kept fans in anticipation with the multi-part chapter song series of 2005, Trapped in the Closet, which consisted of an engaging and addictive storyline with 33 chapters in total. But as time would reveal, the inspiration for the song would begin to unmask the macabre secrecy within the life of R. Kelly, leading to one of the most disgraceful descents from grace in modern music history. The hip-hop opera proved to be a self-fulfilling prophecy, as Kelly had some skeletons ‘trapped in the closet‘ that were bound to come out.

The Fall Of A Giant

In his prime, the singer, songwriter, and record producer born Robert Sylvester Kelly, known professionally as R. Kelly, built a music empire of over $100 million. With a string of hit albums and chart-topping singles under his belt, Kelly had also collaborated consistently with a number of top celebrities in the music business like Celine Dion, Justin Beiber, Lady Gaga, Aaliyah, The Isley Brothers, Jay Z, Cassidy, Nick Cannon, and a plethora of other industry moguls. It was clear that R. Kelly dominated not only the R&B genre, but he also ventured into inspirational music with songs like I Believe I Can Fly, The World’s Greatest, and The Storm Is Over Now. But amid his ability to amass millions in sales through international fame, accusations were brewing that could no longer be dismissed or disregarded. These very accusations would bring the once “World’s Greatest” king of R&B to his knees in an irredeemable fashion after a judge revealed back in April 2020 that Kelly was $2 million in debt to the IRS, bringing his net worth to minus.

Ever since his first relationship with Aaliyah in the 1990s, there have been sexual harassment and abuse accusations made against R. Kelly. On August 18, 2021, Kelly’s trial opened up with the charges against him on racketeering and sex trafficking, with the deceased singer, Aaliyah, appearing as the first victim on his indictment. And even back then, there were suspicions over R. Kelly and Aaliyah’s affair that rose many eyebrows. Court records revealed that in 1994, R Kelly and Aaliyah were married in an illegal ceremony which was quickly annulled. The two later denied any such thing ever took place. However, the shocking part is that at the time, R. Kelly was 27 while Aaliyah was 15. Whether consensual or not, a relationship with a man of 27 years old would be damaging to Aaliyah. Following this incident, the truth was only starting to come out.

The Man Behind The Music

In 1996, R Kelly was sued by Tiffany Hawkins for $10 million after she accused the rising artist of sexual abuse from 1991 when she was 15. She said that he played on her aspirations for becoming a singer and fed her promises of making her career come to pass but instead exploited her. The lawsuit was said to have been settled after Kelly paid her off $250,000 to disappear. But the accusation kept rolling in, and his finances kept dwindling.

Then in 2002, he was arrested on 21 counts of child pornography with a 14-year old. After a six-year court battle and possibly hundreds of thousands in lawyer fees, R. Kelly was acquitted in 2008 of all charges. One year later, in 2009, he divorced his wife, Angela Lee, with whom he shares three children after marrying her in 1996. The split took another massive chunk out of his earnings, as he was forced to give Lee a $1 million lump-sum payment. In addition, he agreed to pay $250,000 in child support in addition to the $100,000 he owed his ex-wife in alimony

A Past Reckoning

The combination of legal fees and his messy divorce kept the bills piling up, leading to the evaporation of his finances over a 10-year period. These legal fees also included tens of millions of dollars in lawsuit settlements of dozens of women who came forward alleging that they were raped by the artist. In 2018, Kelly confessed that he owed $20 million to the IRS and was ‘touring just to pay rent’. Eventually, even getting booked for tours became a tiresome pursuit due to the sexual harassment and child trafficking controversy surrounding his name. He basically became blacklisted from the entertainment industry as several artists refused to work with him, which put a serious hurting on his pockets. Then, he owed the landlord of the recording studio he was renting $167,000 after missing seven months of rent payments.

To top it all off, in 2019, Kelly was arrested yet again on a new set of charges involving his ex-wife, Andrea Lee, who sued him for $160,000 in unpaid child support, on top of the $30,000 he owed in back rent for two Atlanta homes in 2018, which he was subsequently evicted from.

In addition to having a net worth of ‘-$2 million’, on September 27, 2021, R. Kelly was guilty on all nine counts of sex trafficking and racketeering in New York following a six-week-long trial. This seems to have been the final nail in the coffin for the R&B, who was once at the top of the world. When it rains, it pours!

READ NEXT: R. Kelly’s Girlfriend Exposes History of Abuse

Source: CNN, Oxygen: True Crime, Celebrity Net Worth, The Things, Vox

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