Robert Sylvester Kelly (or "Kells") (Born January 8, 1967) 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 ''Film/SpaceJam'' 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 twenty-first century hit, and he became known for a couple other things. One of these was an ambitious, [[SnarkBait if]] [[SoBadItsGood odd]], musical effort, the "[[RockOpera Hip-Hopera]]" known as "''Music/TrappedInTheCloset''". 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 Music/MichaelJackson, prompting some comparisons. However, Kelly was found not guilty of all charges, [[NeverLiveItDown although that hasn't helped his reputation much]].

While still a success, his reputation hasn't quite been the same.
!Tropes present in R. Kelly's work
* AwardBaitSong: "I Believe I Can Fly" from ''Film/SpaceJam'' and "Gotham City" from ''Film/BatmanAndRobin''
* ControversyProofImage: See above. He still has number 1 albums after the allegations of rape.
* DreamTeam: With Phoenix. Started with the 2013 Coachella surprise, leading to a new version of the band's "Trying to Be Cool" with Kells adding his verse.
** Also with Music/LadyGaga, on their collaboration "Do What U Want". Kells and electro-pop work well.
* EpicRocking: If you count all 33 chapters of ''Music/TrappedInTheCloset'' as one song, it totals to [[UpToEleven 2 HOURS and 13 MINUTES]].
* FollowTheLeader: He is sometimes accused of sounding like Aaron Hall. Also, "Gotham City" was a rather blatant attempt at recapturing the success of "Kiss From a Rose" from ''Film/BatmanForever''.
* HipHopSoul
* IntercourseWithYou: Given that he's an R&B singer, almost inevitable. "[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Sex Me]]", "Ignition", "The Zoo", etc.
* LargeHam
* NewJackSwing
* {{Retraux}}: His album ''Love Letter'' has a few Motown style songs.
* TheTysonZone: Part of the inaugural class by TropeNamer Bill Simmons.

!R. Kelly in Media
* ''Series/ChappellesShow'' 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'' [[IronicEcho gonna make a video about peeing on somebody?]]".
** On his DVD commentary, Chappelle says the sketch was motivated by how surprised he was that everyone was focused on the age of Kelly's alleged victim, while to Chappelle the urine aspect was the most fascinating part of the scandal as it had never before entered his head that such a thing could even be ''conceived'' as sexual.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheBoondocks'' featured the trial of Kelly (in Woodcrest, as opposed to his and the Freemans' native Chicago) as the setting for its second episode, "The Trial of R. Kelly".
* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' featured an episode with Kelly, Creator/TomCruise, and other celebrities, figuratively and literally Music/TrappedInTheCloset. As per the music video, Kelly seems a bit trigger happy.
* In the UsefulNotes/FightingGameCommunity, particularly ''Franchise/StreetFighter'' players, the term "R. Kelly" is slang referring to a [[FlawlessVictory Perfect]], due to the "P" icon and the solid yellow life bar.
* In his comedy standup, Creator/AzizAnsari has a small segment on R. Kelly and his live shows, and does a good impression of him. Aziz calls him a "[[BunnyEarsLawyer brilliant singer]]/[[CloudCuckooLander crazy person]]."
* He's mentioned in [[Music/{{Macklemore}} Macklemore and Ryan Lewis]]' "Thrift Shop":
-->Probably shoulda washed this, smells like R. Kelly's sheets
-->''[[DontExplainTheJoke (Piiisssssss)]]''