R. Kelly's Ten Highest Highs, and Lowest Lows

R. Kelly celebrated 49th birthday on January 8, 2016

R. Kelly is one of the most successful, and most controversial recording artists in contemporary music. During his three-decade career, he's composed and produced numerous classic songs, including his triple Grammy award winning "I Can Believe I Can Fly" for Michael Jordan's 1996 Space Jam movie, and also the first single to ever debut at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, "You Are Not Alone" in 1995 by Michael Jackson. Yet, he had a dark side. After launching Aaliyah's career by writing and producing her platinum, number one debut album Age Ain't Nothing But a Number in 1994, it was revealed he had married the underage artist (15 years old), and the marriage was annulled. in 2002, Kelly was charged with 21 counts of child pornography, but was acquitted. In one of the most bizarre incidents in recent music history, he was banned from the 2004 Best Of Both Worlds co-headlining tour with Jay-Z. It occurred in the middle of the tour, after he announced on stage that two men at New York City's Madison Square Garden had guns and wanted to kill him, and then later, he was being maced before going back on stage. 

Here is a list of "R. Kelly's Ten Highest Highs, and Lowest Lows.

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HIGHEST HIGHS: 2004 - Soul Train Quincy Jones Award for Career Achievement

R. Kelly receives the 2004 Quincy Jones Award - Male at the '18th Annual Soul Train Music Awards' at the Scottish Rite Auditorium on March 20, 2004 in Los Angeles, California. Kevin Winter/Getty Images

On March 20, 2004, R. Kelly was honored with the Quincy Jones Award for career achievement at the 18th Annual Soul Train Music Awards held at the Scottish Rite Auditorium in Los Angeles, California. 

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2001 - Six Billboard Music Awards

R. Kelly at the Billboard Awards held at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. M. Caulfield/WireImage

R. Kelly won six trophies, including Top R&B/Hip Hop Artist, at the 2001 Billboard Music Awards held at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. 

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1999 - Soul Train Sammy Davis Jr. Award for Entertainer of the Year

R. Kelly at the 1999 Soul Train Music Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California. SGranitz WireImage

On March 26, 1999, R. Kelly was honored with the Sammy Davis Jr. Award for Entertainer of the Year at the Soul Train Music Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California.

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1998 - Three Grammy Awards for "I Believe I Can Fly"

Diana Ross and R. Kelly at the 1998 Grammy Awards held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. KMazur/WireImage

R. Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly" was a big winner at the 40th Annual Grammy Awards on February 25, 1998 held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. He won three awards for the song: Best Male R&B Vocal Performance, Best R&B Song, and Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media. It was also nominated for Record of the Year and Song of the Year. Kelly recorded the song for the 1996 movie Space Jam starring Michael Jordan. "I Believe I Can Fly" song was certified platinum, reaching number one on the Billboard R&B chart and number two on the Hot 100. It was named Top Soundtrack Single of the Year.

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1998 - 'R' Album Sells Over 12 Million Copies

R. Kelly. Brian Rasic/Getty Images

R. Kelly released his third album, simply named R, on November 10, 1998, and it became his third consecutive number one album on the Billboard R&B chart. Featuring the number one platinum single "I'm Your Angel" with Celine DionR became his most successful album, selling over 12 million copies worldwide. It was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best R&B Album, and the single "When A Woman's Fed Up" was nominated for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. Kelly also won a Soul Train Music Award for Best R&B/Soul Album, Male.

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1995 - Composes Michael Jackson's Record Setting "You Are Not Alone"

R. Kelly. Sam Levi/WireImage

R. Kelly composed and produced "You Are Not Alone" for Michael Jackson's 1995 album, HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I. It holds a Guinness World Record as the first song in the history of the Billboard Hot 100 to debut at number one. The single was certified platinum and also reached number one on the Billboard R&B chart. "You Are Not Alone" was nominated for Grammy Awards for Song of the Year and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.

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1993 - '12 Play' Album Sells Over Eight Million Copies

R. kelly. James Crump/WireImage

R. Kelly immediately established himself as a superstar with his debut solo album, 12 Play, which was released on November 8, 1993. Featuring the platinum single, "Bump n' Grind," the album with an erotic theme was number one for nine weeks on the Billboard R&B chart and sold over eight million copies worldwide. "Bump n' Grind" remained at the top of the charts for 12 weeks. The album also included the gold singles "Sex Me" and "Your Body's Callin'."

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LOWEST LOWS: 2004 - Banned by Jay-Z from their 'Best of Both Worlds' tour

R. kelly and Jay-Z. Scott Gries/ImageDirec

R. Kelly and Jay-Z toured in 2004 to promote their Best of Both Worlds album, and it was anticipated to be the ultimate superstar collaboration of the best of R&B and hip-hop. The tour was a disaster, plagued by numerous technical problems and constant disagreements between the artists. The tension boiled over on October 29, 2004 at Madison Square Garden in New York City  During his second set, Kelly announced,that “two people were waving guns at me. I can’t do no show like that …" He suddenly dropped his microphone and returned to his dressing room. When he attempted to go back to the stage, he and two bodyguards were hit with pepper spray by an associate of Jay-Z, Tyran Smith, and had to be treated at St. Vincent's Hospital..

Smith was arrested and charged with third-degree assault and pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct. He was sentenced to two days of anger-management counseling, and was ordered to complete four days of community service. Kelly was banned from the tour, then sued Jay-Z, who filed a counter suit. Jigga's lawsuit was dismissed, and Kelly's suit was settled out of court. Jay-Z continued the tour without Kelly under the name, Jay-Z & Friends, featuring several guest stars, including Usher, Mary J. Blige, Kanye West, Diddy, Pharrell Williams, Snoop Dogg, T.I., and Busta Rhymes.

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2002 - Charged with 21 counts of child pornography

R. Kelly at the Polk County Courthouse on June 6, 2002 in Bartow, Florida. George McGinn/Getty Images

In June 2002, Kelly was indicted in Chicago on 21 counts of child pornography based on a sex tape allegedly involving him and an underage girl. He was also charged with sexual conduct with a female minor based on photos that were discovered, however those charges were dropped due to a lack of probable cause for the search warrant.

The 21 counts were reduced to 14 counts, and the trial officially started six years later on May 20, 2008.  On June 13, 2008, a jury found Kelly not guilty.

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1994 - Secret marriage to Aaliyah annulled

R. Kelly and Aaliyah. R. Kelly

R. Kelly launched Aaliyah's career in 1994 by composing and producing her debut album, Age Ain't Nothing But A Number, which sold over six million copies worldwide. The first single, "Back & Forth," remained at number one for three weeks on the Billboard R&B chart and was certified gold. The second single, a cover of The Isley Brothers' song "(At Your Best) You Are Love," was also certified gold and peaked at number two on the Billboard R&B chart. 

Kelly met Aaliyah through his manager, Barry Hankerson, who was her uncle. A marriage certificate was discovered that revealed Kelly and Aaliyah were secretly married on August 31, 1994 in Sheraton Gateway Suites in Rosemont, Illinois. She was listed as 18 years old on the document, however she was actually 15 years old. The marriage was annulled by her parents in February 1995, and all records of the marriage were erased.