This Day in Black History: Jan. 8, 1967

R. Kelly, singer, songwriter and producer, was born in Chicago.

Posted: 01/08/2014 12:00 AM EST

Robert Sylvester Kelly, who became known professionally as R. Kelly, has established himself as one of the nation’s best known singers, songwriters and record producers and is often referred to as the “King of R&B.” Kelly, who was born on Jan. 8, 1967, started performing professionally in the late 1980s and became a solo artist in 1993, with his album 12 Play

His list of hit singles includes “Bump n’ Grind,” “Your Body’s Callin,’” “I Believe I Can Fly” and many others. He won three Grammy Awards in 1998 after being nominated five times for “I Believe I Can Fly.”

He was nominated for a Grammy for writing “You Are Not Alone,” which was recorded by Michael Jackson.

The Recording Industry Association of America recognized Kelly as one of the best-selling music artists in the nation. He has sold more than 40 million albums and also recognized as the fifth African-American artist to crack the top 50 on that same list of best-selling artists. Kelly was named as the most successful R&B artist in 2011 of the previous 25 years by Billboard.

Kelly would also have legal troubles, specifically a video that surfaced in 2002 allegedly showing him engaging in sex with an underage girl. He was acquitted of those charges.

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Follow Jonathan Hicks on Twitter: @HicksJonathan

 (Photo: Mark Davis/Getty Images for BET)

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