Robert Sylvester Kelly, better known as R. Kelly rose to fame as a singer and record producer but nowadays, he is known as a convicted sex offender. Once known as “the King of R&B” with record sales of over 75 million worldwide, today Kelly is mostly in the news thanks to the numerous brave women who have come forward opening up about their experiences. Hits like “I Believe I Can Fly” and “Ignition (Remix)” catapulted the musician onto some of the world’s largest stages, but his legacy has been tainted by his crimes.
Today, we’re taking a closer look at R. Kelly’s bank account. From being incredibly wealthy to owing millions — keep on scrolling to see just how much R. Kelly’s net worth changed over the past couple of decades!
R. Kelly Used To Have A Net Worth Of $100 Million
R. Kelly rose to fame in the early ’90s and throughout that decade he was one of the most successful R&B musicians. In that decade, he released some of his most famous work — including the albums Born into the ’90s (1992), 12 Play (1993), R. Kelly (1995), and R. (1998). In 2016, the musician released his most recent album, 12 Nights of Christmas.
Over the course of his career, Kelly released 14 studio albums, five compilation albums, and three collaboration albums. For his 1996 hit “I Believe I Can Fly”, Kelly won three Grammy Awards. Between 1994 and 2013, the musician also went on 12 official tours through which he earned plenty of money. Throughout the years, R. Kelly collaborated with numerous fellow musicians such as Celine Dion, Justin Beiber, Lady Gaga, Aaliyah, Jay Z, Nick Cannon, and many more.
According to Celebrity Net Worth, at the peak of his career, R.Kelly was estimated to have a net worth as high as $100 million. While R. Kelly has been repeatedly accused of sexual abuse of young adults and minors, unfortunately, it wasn’t until the 2019 Lifetime television docuseries Surviving R. Kelly that the scandal resurfaced and permanently damaged the musician’s career.
What Is R. Kelly’s Net Worth Today?
Over the years, Kelly reportedly paid tens of millions of dollars to settle dozens of lawsuits made by women who claimed they were abused by the singer. Apart from his lavish lifestyle which he spent plenty of money on — as well as the fact that he didn’t earn nearly as much in the 2010s as he did in the previous two decades — the settling of lawsuits seems to have decreased the musician’s net worth by a lot. Quickly, his incredible net worth started decreasing.
As of writing, R.Kelly is estimated to have a negative $2 million net worth. In the spring of 2020, it was revealed that Kelly owes nearly $1.9 million to the IRS alone. Reportedly, the musician also lost a large portion of his net worth due to his divorce from his second wife, dancer and actress Andrea Lee whom he had been married to from 1996 until 2009. Prior to Lee, R. Kelly was married to late singer Aaliyah whom he had met when she was 12 years old, and illegally married when she was only 15. A year later, the marriage was annulled.
On June 29, 2022, R. Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison for racketeering and sex trafficking after being tried by the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. As of June 2022, Kelly is scheduled to face another federal trial in the Northern District of Illinois which is scheduled to begin on August 15, 2022.
U.S. District Judge Ann M. Donnelly presided over the federal trial in Brooklyn, and in court, she said that Kelly taught the young victims “that love is enslavement and violence.” She added that “this case is not about sex. It’s about violence and cruelty and control.” Directly addressing Kelly, Judge Donnelly said “You had a system in place that lured young people into your orbit — and then you took over their lives.”
Of course, some fans who supported R. Kelly throughout the trial will continue supporting him which means the musician will most likely continue making money — even from prison. Kelly’s attorney, Jennifer Bonjean said that the musician “accepts that he is a flawed individual, but he is not this one-dimensional monster that the government has portrayed, and the media has portrayed.” R. Kelly continues to challenge his New York conviction.
Next: R. Kelly Had Been Reportedly Placed On Suicide Watch Weeks After Guilty Verdict