From the ’hood to the biggest stage

2010-06-12 09:07

For someone who has just recently discovered soccer, R Kelly has

his talent and star ­power to thank for ­being the major attraction at the

soccer World Cup opening ­ceremony.

While there are many ­musicians across the world whose love for

soccer is well documented and who would have fitted the bill, it’s the R&B

hit-maker whose ­composition, Sign of a ­Victory, was chosen for ­Friday

afternoon’s ceremony before kick-off.

Speaking on the eve of his big performance, Kelly said he had to

work hard to get into the World Cup groove.

He said: “I grew up in South Central Chicago in poverty. We used to

kick whatever we could find, ­including each other.

“Basketball was the thing then. We’d watch some ­snippets of soccer

on TV but I mean I didn’t even know the rules of the game. I just remember as a

12- or 13-year-old waiting for the ball to go behind the net and

celebrate.

“But now I have done my research on the game, done a lot more

reading on how it works and I have ­greater respect for the ­players and the

sport.”

And now that his song ­has been selected as the anthem for the

biggest sporting event in the world, the man – known as the ‘R’ in R&B – has

been bragging about it: “This is my World Cup. It’s the biggest thing I’ve been

­involved in.”

In ­composing and ­recording the song, Kelly transformed his house

to ­resemble Africa: “I put in a lot of grass, got ­African books and stuffed

animals. I wore outfits from Africa to get the spirit of the continent.

“Everyone who wanted to be in that space had to wear something

African.”

He says although Sign of a Victory will be known for the World Cup,

it will ­continue to inspire people ­beyond July 11.

Furthermore, Kelly – who has penned some of the most inspirational

songs of all time such as I Believe I Can Fly and Storm is Over – said he hoped

to contribute to world peace and raise ­issues about global warming with this

song and the ­unity that comes with the World Cup.

On Sign of a Victory, he is backed by Soweto Spiritual Singers,

whom he calls “a beautiful choir”.

The song was released as part of Listen Up, the ­official World Cup

album.



Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.