R Kelly heads for South Africa

2001-08-30 11:53

Cape Town - One of the most influential R&B artists, R Kelly, is heading for South Africa.

Kelly, born Robert Kelly, hails from Chicago and is a singer, songwriter and producer.

Only Babyface Edwards could be termed as a more popular R&B music producer.

Kelly, for example, wrote the song You Are Not Alone for Michael Jackson.

He taught himself to play the piano and landed in the music industry almost "by chance" after he and his friends made street music and realised there is money to be made in music.

His first album Born in the 90s was released in 1992 with the group Public Announcement and he did almost everything on the album himself.

Four solo albums followed, including 12 Play which had the hit tracks She's Got That Vibe and Bump Æn Grind. More than five million copies of the album was sold.

However it was the song I Believe I Can Fly on his third album R Kelly, which was included in the sound track of the film Space Jam, that made him a superstar.

The song secured him three Grammies in 1996 - for best R&B performance by a male singer, best R&B song and best song written for a film.

He had another hit and sound track song in 1998 with Gotham City, written for the movie Batman & Robin.

His fourth album, R contains thirty tracks, producing no less than eight hits - three of which reached the top five on the American pop charts.

He meanwhile also established himself as music producer, working on hits with artists including Luther Vandross, Mary J Blige and Toni Braxton.

He also produced teen sensation Aaliyah's Age Ain't Nothin' But a Number, released in 1994. At the time she was only 15 years old and their secret wedding was later exposed.

Aaliyah died in an air crash in the Bahamas over the weekend.

R Kelly is set to perform in Cape Town on October 17, followed by an appearace at the Johannesburg Stadium on Friday October 19 and on Sunday October 21 at the Kingsmead Cricket Stadium in Durban.

Tickets for the first two concerts range from R100, R125, R135 to R175 and for the Durban concert from R100, R135 to R175. Tickets are available through Ticketweb.