R. Kelly behind bars, awaiting trial on 53rd birthday
40 Percent increase in sexual assault hotline calls following ‘Surviving R. Kelly Part II’ The sequel to Lifetime's docuseries, 'Surviving R. Kelly,' has generated a major response. 'Surviving R. Kelly Part II: The Reckoning' aired on Lifetime from Jan. 2-4. Erinn Robinson, RAINN Press Secretary, via statement Erinn Robinson, via statement The latest documentary featured new interviews with accusers, legal experts and supporters of R. Kelly. The singer is currently jailed in Chicago without bail, fa
Then came the airing of the explosive three-part documentary "Surviving R Kelly,” which exposed Kelly's secret life of alleged sexual misconduct with underaged girls, for which he now faces multiple sex-crime charges in separate federal indictments in New York and Illinois.
The public pressure for law enforcement to act gained even more steam when Kim Foxx, the state's attorney for Cook County, Illinois, held a news conference on Kelly's birthday in 2019 to encourage more of the singer’s accusers to come forward.
The night after Foxx spoke, a defiant Kelly threw himself a party at Chicago's V75 Lounge, where he was filmed singing an a cappella version of one of his major hit songs "Bump n' Grind" amid cheers and the flash of cellphone cameras.
During the impromptu show, he told the crowd "I don't give a (expletive)" about the allegations, then he posed for pictures with several fans in the audience.
A year later there is no party, there is no singing, there is no fanfare.
Kelly marked his 53rd birthday Wednesday as an inmate at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago, where he has been locked up without bond since July 11, 2019.
The Metropolitan Correctional Center, left, where singer R. Kelly is being held on federal sex crimes charges.
Charges he faces
The federal indictment against the singer includes 18 charges, including child sexual exploitation, child pornography production, kidnapping, forced labor, racketeering and obstruction of justice.
Aside from the federal indictment, Kelly also faces 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse in Illinois and a charge of soliciting a minor in Minnesota.
R. Kelly indicted on 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse
Federal prosecutors in New York also charged Kelly last month with bribery related to the 1994 purchase of a fake ID for the late singer Aaliyah in order to obtain a marriage license.
"Surviving R. Kelly Part II: The Reckoning" aired last week on Lifetime and prompted a 40% increase in calls to the national sexual assault hotline, according to a report from the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network.
Time in jail
Reports say that Kelly's time in jail has been unforgiving for the singer.
He was initially kept in the jail’s Special Housing Unit, a section for at-risk prisoners. Kelly’s lawyer, Steven Greenberg, alleged the singer was put in solitary confinement due to his celebrity status, but jail officials said Kelly always had at least three cellmates during his time in the unit.
Kelly has since been transferred to the general prison population of the federal lockup while he awaits trial.
The Chicago Tribune recently reported that Kelly has access to an indoor recreation area three times a week and has purchased items from the commissary “including snacks such as Snickers.”
Only one of his two former live-in girlfriends has been allowed to visit at a time, Greenberg said, and no other friends or professional colleagues are allowed to see the singer.
Robert Sylvester Kelly was born January 8, 1967. The Chicago native made his debut in 1992 with the group Public Announcement before becoming a solo artist a year later with the album “12 Play.”
Since, he has sold more than 75 million records around the world and is considered one of the top-selling music artists of all time.
Some of his most popular songs include "I Believe I Can Fly," "Your Body's Calling," "I Wish," "Fiesta," and "Step In the Name of Love."
He was also nominated for a Grammy for writing Michael Jackson’s hit “You Are Not Alone.”
Kelly’s trial date has been set for May 18 in a federal court in Brooklyn, according to reports. The trial is expected to last about three weeks. A trial in Chicago has been scheduled for April 27.
The singer’s most loyal fans have been posting tributes to social media recognizing his birthday.
Good morning everyone I would like to say Happy 53rd Birthday To King Of R&B Robert Slyvester Kelly Aka R.Kelly let's turn up and celebrate his bday the right way I am bumping his music and watching his videos all day today #HappyBirthdayRKelly 💯🎇❤️🍾 pic.twitter.com/TnXDpAeqNc
Folks Talking about “Mute R.Kelly” I would be a damn fool to Mute Talent anyways I would like to wish my favorite singer that can sing all music genres and sound great doing it a *Happy Birthday* #HappyBirthdayRKelly 🎊🥳 pic.twitter.com/Uf4R0RsXy3
Happy Birthday Mr. Robert Sylvester Kelly aka R. Kelly The King 👑 of R&B, The G.O.A.T. 🐐 & The Emporia of Music 🎶🎂🎈🎉🎊🍬🎈🎉🎊🍬 🎁 Many Blessings 😇 To YOU Mr. R.Kelly. 👍 💃😊 I Love ❤ you Mr Robert Sylvester Kelly.#TEAMKELLZ! 🙏 👑 🐐 ❤