Robert Sylvester Kelly (born January 8, 1967) is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, and former professional basketball player. A native of Chicago, Kelly began performing during the late 1980s and debuted in 1992 with the group Public Announcement. In 1993, Kelly went solo with the album 12 Play. He is known for various songs including "Bump N' Grind", "Your Body's Callin'", "I Believe I Can Fly", "Gotham City", "Ignition (Remix)", "If I Could Turn Back the Hands of Time", "The World's Greatest", "I'm a Flirt (Remix)", and the hip-hopera "Trapped in the Closet". In 1998, Kelly won three Grammy Awards for "I Believe I Can Fly". His distinctive sound and style has influenced numerous hip hop and contemporary R&B artists. Kelly became the first musician to play professional basketball, when he was signed in 1997.Although Kelly is primarily a singer-songwriter, he has written, produced, and remixed songs and albums for many artists. In 1996, he was nominated for a Grammy for writing Michael Jackson's song "You Are Not Alone". In 2002 and 2004, Kelly released collaboration albums with rapper Jay-Z and has been a guest vocalist for other hip hop artists like Nas, Sean Combs, and The Notorious B.I.G.
Since the 1990s, Kelly has been the subject of numerous allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct, often with underage girls, all charges he "categorically denies". In 2002 he was indicted on 13 counts of child pornography, but was acquitted of all charges in 2008.Kelly is one of the best-selling music artists in the United States, with over 30 million albums sold both domestically. He has released 12 solo studio albums, and sold over 75 million albums and singles worldwide, making him the most successful R&B male artist of the 1990s and one of the best-selling music artists of all time. He is credited for helping redefine R&B and hip hop, earning the nicknames "King of R&B" and "King of Pop-Soul". He is listed by Billboard as the most successful R&B/Hip Hop artist of the years 1985-2010 and the most successful R&B artist in history. He has won awards including BET, Soul Train, Billboard, NAACP, and American Music Awards.
In January 2019 a highly publicized Lifetime docuseries with multiple women detailing sexual abuse allegations was aired. Due to pressure from the public and members of the group #MuteRKelly he was dropped by his record company RCA Records.
He is also known as Robert Sylvester Kelly and Robert Kelly.