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Robert Sylvester Kelly (or "Kells") is a Chicago-born legendary R&B, Hip-Hop and Gospel musician, active since 1989. Known for, among other things, the song "I Believe I Can Fly" on the Space Jam soundtrack and being the most successful R&B male artist of The Nineties. With talent and style (including impeccable white suits), he earned his name in the genre.
Then the twentieth century hit, and he became known for a couple other things. One of these was an ambitious, if odd, musical effort, the "Hip-Hopera" known as "Trapped in the Closet". The other was his court case for allegedly engaging in urine-based sexual activity with a minor. This case ran near simultaneously with allegations aimed at Michael Jackson, prompting some comparisons.
While still a success, his reputation hasn't quite been the same.
Tropes present in R. Kelly's work
- Controversy-Proof Image: See above. He still has number 1 albums after the allegations of rape.
- Retraux: His album Love Letter has a some Motown style songs.
R. Kelly in fiction
- Chapelles Show featured a parody of the song "Ignition", and its remix, titled "Piss on U", featuring Dave exemplifying Kelly's waste-based recreation. Chappelle joked that Kelly approached him between episodes, saying "How you gonna make a video about peeing on somebody?", to which Chappelle responded "How you gonna make a video about peeing on somebody?".
- The Boondocks tv series featured the trial of Kelly (in Woodcrest, as opposed to his and the Freemans' native Chicago) as the setting for its first episode.
- South Park featured an episode with Kelly, Tom Cruise, and other celebrities, figuratively and literally Trapped in the Closet. As per the music video, Kelly seems a bit trigger happy.