R. Kelly’s past is hardly free of scandal. But if you’re looking for any juicy details about the singer-songwriter’s child-pornography trial (he was acquitted of all charges in 2008), his alleged marriage to singer Aaliyah when she was 15 or recent tax troubles in his new memoir, Soulacoaster: The Diary of Me, you’ll be disappointed.
Instead, the singer muses about his relationship with his doting mother and shares surprising tidbits that might give some insight into the troubled singer’s life. Kelly, who is currently dealing with complications from a recent throat surgery, wrote openly about love, music and sex. We’ve pulled out a few of the most fascinating stories from his life. Our favorite is his McBeef with Jay-Z. Read on.
1. He has debilitating dyslexia.
It’s ironic that one of the most prolific songwriters of our generation — he’s written for Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson and Mary J. Blige, to name a few — suffers from a debilitating form of dyslexia that makes it difficult for him to read, write or spell. When he was growing up, his inability to learn made him fearful of school. “Every time my teacher called on me to read, my heart sank,” Kelly wrote. By the time he got to high school, he was skipping class regularly and hiding in an old music room with an abandoned piano, where he taught himself how to play.