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Music: R. Kelly
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 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 twenty-first 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. However, Kelly was found not guilty of all charges, though some people don't remember that part.

While still a success, his reputation hasn't quite been the same.

Tropes present in R. Kelly's work

  • Award Bait Song: "I Believe I Can Fly" from Space Jam and "Gotham City" from Batman & Robin
  • Controversy Proof Image: See above. He still has number 1 albums after the allegations of rape.
  • Dream Team: 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 Lady Gaga, on their collaboration "Do What U Want". Kells and electro-pop work well.
  • Follow the Leader: 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 Batman Forever.
  • Intercourse with You: Given that he's an R&B singer, almost inevitable. "Sex Me", "Ignition", "The Zoo", etc.
  • Large Ham
    My mind's telling me no/ But my body/ MY BODY'S TELLING ME YEAAAYYYEEAAAAAHHHHH
  • Retraux: His album Love Letter has a few Motown style songs.
  • The Tyson Zone: Part of the inaugural class by Trope Namer Bill Simmons.

R. Kelly in Media

  • Chappelle's 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?".
    • 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 of as sexual.
  • 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.
  • In the Fighting Game Community, particularly Street Fighter players, the term "R. Kelly" is slang referring to a Perfect, due to the "P" icon and the solid yellow life bar.
  • In his comedy standup, Aziz Ansari has a small segment on R. Kelly and his live shows, and does a good impression of him. Aziz calls him a "brilliant singer/crazy person."
  • He's mentioned in Macklemore and Ryan Lewis' "Thrift Shop":
    Probably shoulda washed this, smells like R. Kelly's sheets
RihannaContemporary R&BLionel Richie
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alternative title(s): R Kelly
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