R. Kelly Timeline: Shining Star to Convicted Sex Offender

R&B superstar R. Kelly’s musical accomplishments have long been clouded by allegations that he sexually abused women and children. Now the singer has been found guilty in his hometown of Chicago on child pornography charges, but acquitted of a charge of conspiracy to obstruct justice accusing him of rigging his state child pornography trial in 2008.

The verdict falls after his conviction in June in New York to three decades behind bars on federal sex trafficking charges. While Kelly, born Robert Sylvester Kelly, vehemently denied the allegations, his accusers testified that he subjected them to perverted and sadistic tantrums when they were underage.

A timeline of Kelly’s life through his rise and fall as an R&B artist:

— 1990: R. Kelly’s R&B group, MGM, wins the $100,000 grand prize for syndicated TV show “Big Break,” hosted by Natalie Cole. Due to financial disagreements, this is the last time the band will perform together.

– January 1992: R. Kelly & Public Announcement releases “Born Into The ’90s”. Released a year later, the album went platinum.

— November 1993: His album “12 Play” is released and sells over 5 million copies. Hit singles include “Sex Me” and “Bump N’ Grind,” which became the longest-running #1 R&B song in over 30 years.

— August 31, 1994: At age 27, R. Kelly married 15-year-old R&B singer Aaliyah D. Haughton in a secret ceremony hosted by Kelly at a Chicago hotel. The wedding is called off months later due to Aaliyah’s age. (Aaliyah died in a plane crash seven years later, aged 22.)

— November 1996: R. Kelly releases his third album, “R. Kelly. A month later, he joined Rockland Records. His song “I Believe I Can Fly,” from the “Space Jam” soundtrack, peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard pop chart. That same year, he married 22-year-old Andrea Lee, a dancer in his touring troupe. The couple have three children: Joanne, Jaya and Robert Jr.

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

— August 2001: Tracy Sampson files a lawsuit against Kelly, alleging that their sexual relationship was illegal under Illinois law because he was in “position of authority” over her. The case was settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.

— February 8, 2002: Chicago Sun-Times reports that he received a videotape allegedly showing Kelly having sex with a minor. The newspaper reports that Chicago police began investigating allegations about Kelly and the same girl three years earlier. At the time, the girl and her parents denied having had sex with Kelly.

On the day the news broke, Kelly performed at the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

— June 5, 2002: Kelly is indicted in Chicago for child pornography related to the sex tape. He pleaded not guilty and was released on $750,000 bail.

— May 9, 2008: Kelly’s child pornography trial begins.

— June 13, 2008: Kelly is acquitted of all charges after less than a day of deliberations.

— June 27, 2012: Kelly publishes her autobiography, “Soulacoaster: The Diary of Me,” focusing on her creative and family life rather than her legal troubles.

— September 29, 2012: Kelly is nominated for two Soul Train Awards, making him the most nominated actor in the history of the awards show.

— July 17, 2017: BuzzFeed reports over the parents’ claims that Kelly had brainwashed their daughters and kept them in an abusive ‘cult’. A woman says she was with Kelly of her own free will. Activists start the #MuteRKelly movement, calling for a boycott of his music.

— May 2018: Spotify cuts R. Kelly’s music from its reading lists, citing its policy on hateful conduct. Soon after, Apple and Pandora also stopped promoting his music. Kelly’s team pushes back, noting that other artists on Spotify have been charged or convicted of crimes.

– January 3, 2019: Lifetime broadcasts the documentary “Surviving R. Kelly”, which revisits old allegations and brings new ones into the spotlight. The BBC’s ‘R Kelly: Sex, Girls & Videotapes’, published the previous year, alleges that the singer detained women against their will.

– January 21, 2019: multiple media reports that Kelly and her label, Sony subsidiary RCA Records, are parting ways. Kelly continues to deny all allegations of abuse.

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

– February 25, 2019: Kelly’s lawyer pleads not guilty on behalf of the singer. Hours later, Kelly posts bail and is released from prison in Chicago.

— March 6, 2019: CBS airs an interview in which Kelly vehemently denies the sexual abuse accusations. Cook County authorities are taking Kelly into custody after he told a judge he couldn’t pay $161,000 in child support.

– May 30, 2019: Kelly is charged with 11 new sex-related counts in Chicago. They involve one of the women who accuses him of sexually abusing her when she was underage.

— July 11, 2019: Kelly is indicted by a federal grand jury in Chicago for charges including child pornography, incitement to a minor and obstruction of justice. A separate indictment filed in the Eastern District of New York includes charges of racketeering, kidnapping, forced labor and sexual exploitation of a child. He is again arrested in Chicago.

— July 16, 2019: A federal judge orders Kelly’s detention without bail after a prosecutor warned he poses extreme danger to young girls.

– August 5, 2019: Kelly is charged in Minnesota prostitution and solicitation related to an allegation that he invited a 17-year-old girl to his hotel room in 2001 and paid her $200 to dance naked with him.

— March 5, 2020: Kelly pleads not guilty in Chicago to an updated federal indictment that includes child pornography charges and allegations involving a new accuser.

– August 12, 2020: Federal prosecutors announce charges against three men accused of threatening and intimidating women who accused Kelly of abuse, including a man suspected of setting fire to a vehicle in Florida.

– August 18, 2021: Opening statements begin in Kelly’s federal trial At New York.

– September 27, 2021: A jury finds Kelly guilty of sex trafficking and violating the Mann Act, which makes it illegal to take anyone across state lines “for immoral purposes”.

— June 29, 2022: Kelly is sentenced to 30 years in prison in New York.

— August 15, 2022: start of jury selection for Kelly in Chicago federal court for child pornography, incitement and obstruction of justice.

– September 14, 2022: Federal jury convicts Kelly of three counts of child pornography and three counts of incitement to childhood. But the jury acquits him on a fourth count of pornography, a charge of conspiracy to obstruct justice related to his 2008 trial, three counts of conspiracy to receive child pornography and two other incitement charges. His two co-defendants, business associates Derrel McDavid and Milton Brown, were found not guilty of the charges against them.