R. Kelly just released a stunning new song on Spotify that claps back at all the various allegations and controversies he has faced in recent years. The 19-minute track, titled "I Admit" is basically R. Kelly free-form spewing out his feelings on everything from sex-cult allegations, liking younger women, being banned on streaming services, being sexually abused as a child and his current financial problems. We're not an outlet that deals with sexual assault issues, you can read about that stuff in a thousand other sites, we're gonna exclusively discuss the financial stuff:
On the song, R. Kelly says the following:
"Now the truth in this message is I'm a broke-ass legend. The only reason I stay on tour is 'cause I gotta pay my rent. I never thought it would come to this, to be the most disrespected artist. So I had to write a song about it. Because they always take my words and twist it. Believe me, it's hard to admit all this."
This is a fairly shocking admission. In a later part of the song he claims to owe $20 million to the IRS, borrowed money from his label to cover basic living expenses and was forced to sell his publishing rights. Those publishing rights alone must have been worth a fortune.
We've known for a while that R. Kelly was experiencing financial problems, and have covered the topic on a number of occasions, but the idea that he could be broke is pretty insane. Despite all of his controversies, R. Kelly is still one of the most successful musicians of the last decade, selling 40 million albums in the United States alone. He has also written and produced countless hit tracks for other artists including Michael Jackson, Toni Braxton, Mary J. Blige, Celine Dion, Ginuwine, Jennifer Lopez and Whitney Houston.
If you removed all of his controversies, by our estimation R. Kelly easily could have had a net worth $150-200 million, especially when taking into account his publishing rights. Back in 2009, his net worth was high enough where a court ordered him to pay his ex-wife of nearly 10 years a $40 million divorce settlement. The timing was brutal because his marriage lasted from 1996-2009, which represented what turned out to be his most lucrative years. In the decade after the divorce Kelly's career has been mired by controversy and legal problems. He's been plagued by never-ending lawsuits that cost millions to defend and millions more to settle.
According to reports in the Chicago Tribute and BuzzFeed, R. Kelly has reportedly paid tens of millions of dollars to settle dozens of lawsuits made by women who claimed they were abused by the singer.
In 2012, it was revealed that Kelly owed $5 million in unpaid taxes dating back seven years. In 2013, he lost a house to foreclosure. In 2018 he was evicted from several Atlanta-area homes that he was renting due to lack of payment. Now if you believe him, he owes a total of $20 million to the IRS, is broke and needs to tour just to pay rent.
Or maybe he's just embellishing his problems to get sympathy? Either way, it certainly hasn't helped that all the major streaming services blocked his songs from appearing in public playlists and that many of his concerts today are blocked by an outcry of public protest.
What do you think of R. Kelly's admissions? Do you think he truly is broke today?