Once referred to as the King of R&B, he gained fame for such hits as "I Believe I Can Fly" and "Ignition (Remix)." With over 100 million records sold worldwide, he is one of the top-selling artists of all-time. In 2023, he was convicted of human trafficking and sentenced to over 30 years in prison.
He appeared on a televised talent show called Big Break, which awarded him a $100,000 prize. He signed with Jive Records in 1991.
He created a rap opera, or hip-hopera, called Trapped in the Closet, which was released in four installments from 2005 to 2012.
He was born Robert Sylvester Kelly. He married Aaliyah on August 30, 1994, but their marriage was annulled on February 7, 1995. He was married to Andrea Kelly from 1996 until 2009. He has three children named Jay, Joann, and Robert. In July 2022, he announced his engagement to Jocelyn Savage.
His 2007 song "Rock Star," featuring Ludacris, reached #54 on the R&B/Hip-Hop chart.