Robert Sylvester Kelly, famously R. Kelly to the world, is an R&B legend whose career has been deeply overshadowed by controversy. The successful singer, songwriter, and producer is currently behind bars in connection to allegations over the years of abuse from several women, a majority of which were reportedly underage. This is especially troubling considering that R. Kelly is actually a father with three kids of his own. Let’s take a look at his children and some of the women who have allegedly gotten pregnant by Robert in the past. In 1996, R. Kelly married his ex-wife Andrea Kelly. She was initially his backup dancer, but the two hit it off and fell in love. They share three children together. JoAnn Kelly was born March 19, 1998, and named after Robert’s late mother, who passed from cancer in 1993. JoAnn is the most visible of Rob’s siblings, following in her dad’s footsteps as a singer and songwriter.
JoAnn has talked at great length about how she used to run away from music after finding out about her father’s allegations in high school from her peers. However, it also became her saving grace and helped her out of the dark times. As a result, she opted to change her name to Buku Abi to distance herself from R. Kelly’s legacy. Her debut EP, Don’t Call Me, was released in 2019.
Jaah Kelly is one of R. Kelly’s children with Andrea. Jaah was assigned female at birth but came out as transgender in 2014. While their birthdate is unavailable, they are believed to have been born in 2000. Jaah did an interview with Paper Magazine in 2019 where they still identified as female and talked about their experience as R. Kelly’s child. Mother Andrea described Jaah, saying, “There is a difference between someone who walks into a room and demands your respect [and someone who] commands your respect,” mother Drea says. “[Jaah] just commands a room. She has that energy, that confidence.”
Jaah described their experience coming to terms with gender and how liking a girl initially confused them. “When I was younger, I always felt like I had to make a choice. I knew that I was a girl who liked other girls. But because of what I was taught, I felt like the only way you could like another girl is if you were a boy.” Jaah has also taken after their father, releasing music. Their last child together was Robert Kelly Jr. Named after his father, Robert was born December 2, 2002. He is currently a student at Savannah State University, where he studies Marine Biology. He was raised in Chicago with his siblings and appeared to be a basketball player.
Outside of his three children, it is alleged that R. Kelly almost fathered a child while dating late R&B star Aaliyah. Kelly served as her mentor and executive producer of her debut album; Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number. Behind the scenes, the pair had begun dating; Aaliyah was only 16. R. Kelly reportedly got scared that he might have gotten her pregnant and pushed his team to help him marry the young singer to avoid any legal issues. His road manager was able to bribe a social worker into producing a fake ID for Aaliyah that they used to wed. This bribe was key in helping nail R. Kelly for racketeering, as he was accused of managing a complex ring of yes men who helped him keep his women under control and move them around as he saw fit.
One woman who was fully tied up in R. Kelly’s life right before he took the fall was Joycelyn Savage. The young lady was dating Rob when the Mute R. Kelly campaign went viral and did several interviews with conflicting accounts on her time with the star. While she initially claimed to be a victim of Stockholm syndrome and abuse, she has recently been singing a different tune. In addition to recently said that she was engaged to Robert, she is now revealing that she is pregnant.
The 26-year-old published an 11-page book titled Love and Joy of Robert, where she reveals that he sent her an engagement ring to her in the mail. She wrote, “I began expecting severe morning sickness and was unsure what was wrong with my body. I thought I had contracted COVID-19, but the most amazing news of all was that I was expecting.” She goes on to say, “Robert is extremely excited about the news that I am having a baby and feels sad that Robert will not be able to be here with us.”