Robert Sylvester Kelly (born January 8, 1967), better known by his stage name R. Kelly, is an American singer-songwriter and record producer. Often referred to as the King of R&B, Kelly is recognized as one of the most successful R&B artists of all-time. A native of Chicago, Illinois, Kelly began performing during the late 1980s and debuted in 1992 with the group Public Announcement. In 1993, Kelly went solo with the album 12 Play. He is known for a collection of major hit singles including "Bump n' Grind", "Your Body's Callin'", "I Believe I Can Fly", "Gotham City", "Ignition (Remix)", "If I Could Turn Back the Hands of Time", "The World's Greatest", "I'm a Flirt", and the hip-hopera "Trapped in the Closet". In 1998, Kelly won three Grammy Awards for "I Believe I Can Fly".
Kelly has written, produced, and remixed songs for many artists including The Winans, The Isley Brothers, Charlie Wilson, Quincy Jones, K-Ci & JoJo, Aaliyah, Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, Toni Braxton, Michael Jackson, Hi-Five, Nivea, Ciara, Mary J. Blige, Luther Vandross, Gerald LeVert, Raheem DeVaughn, Ruben Studdard, Jaheim, Kelly Price, Tamia, Maxwell, Celine Dion, Britney Spears, Usher, B2K, Twista, Tyrese, Jennifer Lopez, Trey Songz, and others in the U.S. and abroad.
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), has recognized R. Kelly as one of the best-selling music artists in the United States with 38.5 million albums sold as well as only the fifth Black artist to crack the top 50 of the same list. In March 2011, R. Kelly was named the most successful R&B artist of the last 25 years by Billboard. Kelly has released 10 studio albums, sold 38.5 million albums in the U.S., 15 million singles, and over 54 million albums worldwide making him the most successful R&B male artist of 1990s.