It’s no secret that disgraced singer, writer, and producer R. Kelly is in a world of legal trouble. For most of his 55 years on this earth, Kelly has enjoyed colossal success, which was truly reflected in his finances. However, that is definitely not the case nowadays. Further proving that R. Kelly’s glory days are over, the entertainer’s attorney now claims he is completely poor.
Singer-songwriter R. Kelly has an extensive career that began in 1989. The Chicago-native unleased his first offering to the world in a few short years. Born Into The 90s, a collaboration album the singer did with R&B group Public Announcement, was released in 1992, being R. Kelly’s official introduction to the world. The album went on to be certified Platinum..
R. Kelly’s solo journey proved to be highly profitable. The singer released several multiplatinum albums, including his 6x Platinum-selling debut 12 Play. One thing about the “Bump n’ Grind” singer that could not be denied was his gift. He released 18 studio albums, which included two collaborative efforts with Jay-Z. His biggest selling album to date is the double disc, R., which sold over 8 million copies in the U.S. and over 12 million worldwide..
The singer also produced and wrote songs for blockbuster films such as Space Jam, Batman & Robin, Ali, and more. Each piece typically skyrocketed to the top of the charts and quickly became fan favorites. R. Kelly’s pen and production skills were not only a blessing to himself but to others. For example, he’s written and produced chart-toppers for artists such as Michael Jackson, Toni Braxton, Aaliyah, Kelly Price, The Isley Brothers, Sparkle, and more. It is a seemingly endless list.
R. Kelly also heavily benefitted from touring. Throughout his career, he’s amassed multimillions of dollars in shows around the world that were often sold out. He also saw more success with his Trapped In The Closet series. With 33 chapters and videos, R. Kelly also entered a deal with IFC for the project’s distribution. R. Kelly has also garnered a massive and loyal fanbase. While many dropped off following the news of his many harmful acts, there was a considerable number that remained. According to a Rolling Stone report, Kelly’s sales and streams soared by 517% following his guilty verdict.
Troubles began to publicly follow R. Kelly starting in the 2000s. With everything beginning to pile up on him, the singer-songwriter’s millions soon went towards paying legal fees, among other things. You may recall in 2019 when a fan offered to post his $100K bail and proceeded to do so. Many other fans, at one point, also set up multiple GoFundMe accounts to offset their favorite singer’s legal fees. However, they were ultimately shut down by the website for violating their terms of service.
R. Kelly has been sentenced to 30 years. But, oddly enough, this is just for his case in New York. He still has to face a judge in the city of Chicago, the state of Illinois, and Minnesota. According to Insider, a Judge ordered that Kelly pay a fine worth $100,000, which was added to his sentence. In addition, he must cough up $40,000 for a penalty fee. This already adds to the compiled list of expenses he’s already facing. In 2019, a Chicago news station reported that R. Kelly’s former lawyer, Lisa D’Amico, accused him of unpaid legal fees extending to $12,000.
R. Kelly’s former divorce lawyer has asked a judge to order the singer to pay her more than $12K in fees https://t.co/J00sF87oR6
— billboard (@billboard) October 22, 2019
R. Kelly also faced another massive fee when a judge awarded his former landlord $3.5 million for unpaid rent on a Chicago property, as reported by The Chicago Sun-Times. Then at the height of his trial, Kelly’s attorney issued that he’d been unable to cover many financial responsibilities, including legal fees. According to Newsone, R. Kelly’s inability to tour and receive royalties in the last few years resulted in his failure to pay his expenses. He’d also put on noticeable weight and therefore had to be “measured for new clothing to wear” for the trial.
According to Celebrity Net Worth, R. Kelly’s currently facing a deficit that is allegedly at negative $2 million. This is a massive downfall from his former multimillion-dollar empire. The website also highlights his nearly $2 million debt to the IRS, among his other legal troubles. RadarOnline obtained a recent letter written by his attorneys to a judge that attempted to absolve the singer of his sentence. Kelly’s attorney revealed that he was once “worth $900 million,” then added that the singer is “now destitute.”
An Insider report claims that R. Kelly may have hidden a large sum of money. During his Brooklyn trial, the Assistant U.S. Attorney revealed that millions of dollars worth of his royalties were being withheld by his record label. However, when the rights to his music were sold in August of 2021, a childhood friend of Kelly’s named Keith Halbert was tasked with holding on to them. In addition, Halbert had begun to receive “hundreds of thousands of dollars from royalties [for] those rights.”