Timeline of R. Kelly's life and career, from birth to Friday's acquittal on child pornography charges:
— Jan. 8, 1967: Robert Sylvester Kelly is born in Chicago, Ill., son of Joann Kelly, a school teacher. R. Kelly is third of four children, and lives with his family in Chicago's housing projects. Little is known about his father.
Every Sunday, his mother, a devout Baptist, brings him and his siblings to church, where he says he would spend hours. "My mother made sure we were there. We learned wrong from right," he told USA Today in 1994.
— 1975: At age 8, he begins singing in church. Around the same time, his mother teaches him how Stevie Wonder sings by putting a nickel on the record player needle to slow down the revolutions. "So the runs could go really slow and then you learn them and then you learn them and you get it down pat," he tells ABC News "Primetime Live" in 2004.
— 1979: At age 12, "I experienced a lot of things at a very young age that I don't know if I was supposed to." That includes watching older youths rape one of his girl friends when he was 12 and being shot at while he was riding a bicycle as a teenager, he told the Detroit Free Press in 1994.
But his mother later tells an acquaintance that her son had in fact invented the story of being shot to cover a suicide attempt. He reportedly still carries the bullet in his shoulder.
— 1983: At age 16, his mother moves the family away from the projects and enrolls her son Robert into the prestigious Kenwood Academy, a Chicago public school. There Kelly meets his mentor Lena McLin, who chairs Kenwood's music faculty. "She was my second mother. She made me feel I could do anything," Kelly told People in 1994.
— 1984: At age 17, his music teacher places him in a local talent show to perform a version of "Ribbon in the Sky," a Stevie Wonder song. "That night it was like Spider-Man being bit. I discovered the power you get from being onstage," he told Newsweek in 1995. In the years that follow, he performs in Chicago's subway stations full time with his Casio keyboard, often pretending he's blind to avoid arrest.
— 1990: R. Kelly's R&B group MGM wins the $100,000 grand prize on the syndicated television talent show, "Big Break," hosted by Natalie Cole. Because of disagreements over money, that was the last time the group performed together. Later that summer, music executive Wayne Williams of Jive Records discovers Kelly singing at a barbecue. Hankerson becomes Kelly's manager and negotiates his deal with Jive.
— Jan. 1992: R. Kelly & Public Announcement debut "Born Into The '90s" released. A year later, the album goes platinum.
— Fall 1992: His current tour is called "60653," the zip code of the neighborhood where he grew up. The tour is on a 10-week nationwide run and includes billings with En Vogue, CC Penniston and High Five.
— 1993: Mother dies of cancer. "I was in love with her. If there ever was such a thing (as) a man marrying his mother, I would have been the first," he told USA Today in 1994.
— Nov. 1993: Album "12 Play" released. It goes on to sell more than 5 million copies. Hit singles include "Sex Me" and "Bump N' Grind." "Bump and Grind" becomes the longest-running number-one R&B jam in more than 30 years.
— Aug. 31, 1994: At age 27, marries R&B singer Aaliyah (pronounced ah-LEE-yah) D. Haughton, 15. The couple weds in a secret ceremony arranged by Kelly at a hotel near O'Hare Airport. Because Haughton is only 15, the marriage is annulled months later. Haughton dies in a plane crash at the age of 22.
— Nov. 1994: Buys a Lincoln Park home, formerly an 1895 Baptist church, and renovates it with an indoor basketball court, sound system, an indoor pool, a dance studio and a 1,500-gallon shark-filled aquarium that is built into the wall. The wall aquarium, an idea Kelly got from a James Bond movie, also is home to several stingrays, until they are eaten by the sharks.
— Sept. 1994: Aaliyah's debut album, "Age Ain't Nothing But A Number," which Kelly produces, is certified platinum.
— Sept. 1995: Produces Michael Jackson's hit single "You Are Not Alone." Kelly also produces songs for Whitney Houston, Quincy Jones, Toni Braxton, and Janet Jackson.
— Nov. 1996: Third album, "R. Kelly," is released.
— Dec. 1996: Incorporates Rockland Records, where he can groom new artists.
— 1996: Marries Andrea Lee, 22, a dancer from his touring troupe. The couple will have three children: Joanne, Jaya, and Robert Jr.
— July 1996: Kelly and his entourage are involved in a fight while playing basketball at a health club in Lafayette, La. Four men sue Kelly and his five bodyguards for allegedly assaulting them. A year later, the parties settle for undisclosed terms.
— Dec. 1996: "I Believe I Can Fly," from the "Space Jam" soundtrack, peaks at No. 2 on the Billboard pop chart.
— Feb. 18, 1997: According to court records, Tiffany Hawkins files a complaint against Kelly alleging intentional sexual battery and sexual harassment. Hawkins was a minor at the time of the alleged crimes.
— Jan. 1998: Hawkins suit reportedly settled for $250,000, shortly after Hawkins gave a seven-hour deposition in the case.
— Feb. 1998: Wins three Grammys for "I Believe I Can Fly" — best R&B song, best song written for a motion picture, and best male R&B performance.
— Nov. 1998: Album "R." hits stores. It has since sold 6 million copies.
— Fall 2000: The video for Kelly's top single "I Wish" is the No. 1 most played video on BET and The Box. In the video, Kelly portrays his sister as braiding his hair, though associates reportedly say she worked as his housekeeper for several years, earning $400 a week.
— 2000, Nov: "TP2.com" debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart. With this 5th album, Kelly has sold 14.5 million albums and 8.9 million singles, according to Soundscan, USA Today reports.
— Aug. 2001: Tracy Sampson files a lawsuit against Kelly, charging sex was illegal under Illinois law because he was in "a position of authority" over her. Reportedly settled out of court, in Spring 2002, for an undisclosed amount.
— Feb 8, 2002: Chicago Sun Times reports that the paper received a 26-minute, 39-second videotape allegedly showing Kelly having sex with a minor. The paper also reports that Chicago police first began investigating allegations about Kelly and the same girl three years ago. At the time, both the girl and her parents deny that she was having sex with Kelly.
The same day the news breaks, Kelly performs at the opening ceremonies for the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.
— May 27, 2002: "I want America to know that you can't believe everything you hear; now you can't believe everything you see ... Nowadays you can make a tape. You can make a song. It can sound like a person or look like a person ... but that's not me," he tells Jet magazine.
— June 5, 2002: Indicted in Chicago on 21 counts of child pornography, stemming from the sex tape. He pleads not guilty and is released on $750,000 bail.
— Jan. 2003: Arrested at a Miami Dade hotel in Florida on additional child pornography charges after investigators said they found photos of him having sex with a girl. Kelly is released from jail on $12,000 bond. Later, the charges are dropped because the judge stated that police did not have a warrant to search Kelly's house.
— Feb. 18, 2003: Kelly's album "Chocolate Factory" is released, selling 538,000 copies in its first week.
— Oct, 2003: Kelly tells Blender magazine that "Osama Bin Laden is the only one who knows exactly what I'm going through." Kelly is upset about criticism he has received from people who "don't even know" him.
— Feb. 2004: Cook County prosecutors drop seven of 21 child pornography charges against Kelly.
— Nov. 2004: Files a $90 million lawsuit against Jay-Z and a promoter, claiming breach of contract and sabotage. Jay-Z kicked Kelly off their 40 city tour, citing Kelly's "unpredictable behavior."
— July 2005: Seventh solo album, "TP.3 Reloaded" hits No. 1 spot on the Billboard chart.
— September 2005: Andrea Kelly asked for an order of protection from her husband, Kelly, accusing him of hitting her when she said she wanted a divorce. The couple reconciles but she says later they live in different homes.
— February 2006: R. Kelly's brother, Kerry Kelly, says his brother offered him $50,000 in cash and a record deal to say he was the person on the sex video.
— May 1, 2007: Kelly releases "Rise Up" single to benefit Virginia Tech victims. He tells Hip-Hop Soul magazine: "I'm the Ali of today. I'm the Marvin Gaye of today. I'm the Bob Marley of today. I'm the Martin Luther King, or all the other greats that have come before us. And a lot of people are starting to realize that now."
— May 29, 2007: Kelly releases his album "Double Up." It peaks at No. 1 on the Billboard albums chart.
— August, 2007: Judge Gaughan rules that jurors and the public will see the sex tape in open court, rejecting arguments from both the defense and prosecutors that it should not be shown to reporters and public observers.
— September, 2007: The trial is supposed to start after a five-year delay, but Gaughan postpones it until 2008. He doesn't explain why.
— Dec. 21, 2007: Gaughan had threatened to revoke Kelly's bond after he failed to show up at a hearing a few days earlier, but decides not to. Kelly was in the middle of a 45-city tour and explained that his bus was held up by police for speeding in Utah, making it impossible for him to get to Chicago.
— April 29, 2008: Kelly releases his new single, "Hair Braider," to lukewarm results. His album, "12 Play: Fourth Quarter," is expected to be released sometime this year.
— May 9, 2008: After six years of delays, Kelly's child pornography trial finally begins.
— June 13, 2008: Kelly acquitted on all counts after less than a full day of deliberations.