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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Conundrum of R. Kelly...Artist, Genuis, Flawed...But Real!


Been doing a lot of thinking about R. Kelly and I wonder does he understand a whole lot about the perceptions surrounding him?

He was acquitted in June of 2008 of child molestation charges, but people still debate his innocence.

I'm not going to get into that because frankly, I'm tired of talking about it.  But what is evident within this man is his talent.

But who is R. Kelly, the man?  What is he really like? What's really in his heart?

Back in 1995, while living in Chicago, I attended the WGCI radio Music seminar luncheon, and R. Kelly was one of the invited entertainers who was to speak at the luncheon.  His classic song, I Believe I Can Fly was all over the air waves at that time.  What I remember was the rust colored suit he wore, he was sporting the bald head then...and he spoke candidly about his life.  My impression of him was that he was not pretentious and had no problem relating to the audience.

Although, admitting that he's illiterate and can't read very well...R. Kelly has sold over 40 million albums worldwide and continues to be a in demand singer, songwriter, producer and arranger.  I've bought every single one: Born Into The Nineties with Public Announcement, 12-Play, R Kelly, R., TP.2, Chocolate Factory, Happy People, Double Up and his latest album was simply entitled: Untitled.  It was released last year and is classic R. Kelly. I liked it immediately..  I've also bought the remix cd's, concert DVD in 2006 and watch his occasional videos on Youtube.

In 2010, R. Kelly's song Sign of Victory was chosen as the anthem for the South Africa FIFA World Cup. 

He is also set to release his memoirs in 2011 with Smiley books.

Although he is much more accomplished today,  and if it weren't for the scandal back in 2001; R. Kelly would be considered a truly great artist, in the same company of Stevie Wonder, Prince and Micheal Jackson. 

I've prayed for R. Kelly.  He is only a man and wrestles with demons as we all do.

Whenever I look into his eyes, I see a sadness within them.  I wonder where it comes from--only he and God know, but one thing is for sure, his talent is real and I feel that he has not even come close to writing his greatest album.

Only God can judge him but as for me, I'm a fan for life and I wish him the best.

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