R. Kelly drug trafficking case: Here's the complete timeline

R. Kelly's musical achievements have been accompanied by allegations that he sexually abused women and children for a long time. The R&B singer has now been sentenced to prison for the next three decades. Kelly was found guilty of sex trafficking charges by a jury in September. While Kelly, born Robert Sylvester Kelly, has strongly denied the allegations, his accusers have testified in detail about how he subjected them to perverse and sadistic whims when they were underage. 


  • 1990: R. Kelly's R&B group MGM wins the $100,000 grand prize on Natalie Cole's syndicated television talent show "Big Break." That was the group's final performance due to financial disagreements. Jive Records' music executive Wayne Williams discovers Kelly singing at a barbecue that summer. 


  • R. Kelly and Public Announcement released "Born Into The '90s" in January 1992. A year later, the album was certified platinum. • November 1993: The release of his album "12 Play," which eventually sells over 5 million copies. "Sex Me" and "Bump N' Grind," which became the longest-running No. 1 R&B song in more than 30 years, were both hit singles. 


  • R. Kelly married 15-year-old R&B singer Aaliyah D. Haughton on August 31, 1994, at the age of 27. Kelly arranges for the couple to marry in a private ceremony at a Chicago hotel. Because of Aaliyah's age, the marriage is annulled months later. Aaliyah's debut album, "Age Ain't Nothing But A Number," which Kelly produced, was certified platinum in September 1994. (Aaliyah died seven years later, at the age of 22, in a plane crash.) 


  • R. Kelly's third album, "R. Kelly," was released in November 1996. A month later, he established Rockland Records. His song "I Believe I Can Fly," from the soundtrack to "Space Jam," reaches No. 2 on the Billboard pop chart. He married Andrea Lee, a dancer from his touring troupe, the same year. Joanne, Jaya, and Robert Jr. are the couple's three children. Tiffany Hawkins files a complaint against Kelly on February 18, 1997, alleging intentional sexual battery and sexual harassment while she was a minor. 


  • Tracy Sampson files a lawsuit against Kelly in August 2001, claiming that their sex was illegal under Illinois law because he was in "a position of authority" over her. According to reports, the case was settled out of court for an undisclosed sum. The Chicago Sun-Times reported on February 8, 2002, that it had received a videotape purportedly showing Kelly having sex with a minor. According to the paper, Chicago police began investigating allegations about Kelly and the same girl three years ago. The girl and her parents both denied having sex with Kelly at the time. 


  • Kelly enters a not guilty plea in Chicago on March 5, 2020, to an updated federal indictment that included child pornography charges and allegations involving a new accuser, while prosecutors say more charges involving yet another victim are on the way. August 12, 2020: Federal prosecutors charge three men with threatening and intimidating women who have accused R&B singer Kelly of abuse, including one man accused of setting fire to a vehicle in Florida. 


  • Kelly is ordered to stand trial in Chicago on child pornography and obstruction of justice charges by a judge. On November 17, 2021, a man is sentenced to eight years in prison for setting fire to a car in Florida in an attempt to intimidate a potential witness in a sex trafficking trial, according to authorities. Prosecutors say Kelly deserves at least 25 years in prison for abusing children and women. Kelly is sentenced to 30 years in prison in the New York case on June 29, 2022.