R. Kelly, born Robert Sylvester Kelly, has had a tremendous impact on the music world throughout his career, spanning several decades.

He first entered the music scene in the early 1990s and quickly became a force to be reckoned with, releasing a diverse range of popular and influential songs that resonated with fans and critics alike.

In this article, we will delve into R. Kelly’s early career, the different genres he explored, and the legacy he leaves behind as one of the most prolific artists of his time.

Early Career

R. Kelly first burst onto the music scene in 1992 with the release of his debut album, Born into the 90’s, alongside his group Public Announcement.

The album was well-received and spawned hit singles such as “She’s Got That Vibe” and “Honey Love,” showcasing R. Kelly’s distinctive R&B and New Jack Swing style.

In 1993, R. Kelly embarked on a solo career, releasing his debut solo album, 12 Play. This album not only solidified his status as a hitmaker but also introduced the world to his seductive and sensual songwriting.

Exploration of Different Genres

Throughout his career, R. Kelly has dabbled in various musical genres. While best known for his R&B and hip-hop hits, he has also ventured into gospel, soul, and even opera.

Some examples of his genre-defying tracks include the gospel-infused “I Believe I Can Fly,” the operatic “Trapped in the Closet” series, and the soulful ballad “When a Woman Loves.”

Impact on Popular Culture

R. Kelly’s music has had a significant impact on popular culture, with his songs serving as the soundtrack for numerous movies, TV shows, and other media.

His hit single “I Believe I Can Fly” became an essential part of the 1996 film Space Jam, featuring Michael Jordan and the Looney Tunes characters.

Similarly, R. Kelly’s 1998 duet with Celine Dion, “I’m Your Angel,” enjoyed massive success, topping charts worldwide and earning Grammy nominations.

Top Tracks and Albums

Throughout his career, R. Kelly has released numerous chart-topping hits and albums. Some of his most celebrated tracks include:

  • “Bump N’ Grind”  
  • “Ignition (Remix)”  
  • “I Believe I Can Fly”  
  • “The World’s Greatest”  
  • “Gotham City”

R. Kelly’s most successful albums include:

  • R. (1998) – Featuring hits like “I Believe I Can Fly” and “Gotham City”  
  • TP-2.com (2000) – Home to the smash hit “Fiesta”  
  • Chocolate Factory (2003) – Boasting the chart-topping “Ignition (Remix)”

29 Best R. Kelly Songs

“12 Play”.

Released in 1993, R. Kelly’s debut album, “12 Play” is a classic for R&B fans around the world. The album features some of his most beloved hits such as “Bump N’ Grind,” “Your Body’s Callin’,” and “She’s Got That Vibe”.

This was Kelly’s first foray into the music industry and it proved to be a huge success, selling over eight million copies.

His smooth voice combined with his seductive lyrics makes “12 Play” an unforgettable album for fans of R&B music.

It was also nominated for two Grammy awards and topped the Billboard 200 chart in 1994.

“Be Careful”.

Released in 2003, “Be Careful” is one of R. Kelly’s most beloved and popular songs. A soulful mid-tempo ballad, the song finds Kelly singing about a strutting woman who he warns to be careful with her affections.

“Be Careful” was a hit with fans and remains one of Kelly’s signature songs. The song has been covered by numerous artists over the years, solidifying it as one of R. Kelly’s all-time classics.

“Bump N’ Grind”.

One of R. Kelly’s biggest hits, “Bump N’ Grind” was released in 1994 and peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, where it remained for 12 weeks.

The song has been used in popular films such as Boomerang (1992) and Center Stage (2000). The success of this single propelled R. Kelly to stardom and helped launch his career as a solo artist.

The song remains an all-time favorite among R. Kelly fans and is often performed at concerts. The music video for the single was directed by Millicent Shelton and features a seductive performance from R. Kelly, who dances around an empty club with female dancers in black lingerie.

The video was nominated for a Grammy Award and is considered one of the best music videos of the 1990s.

“Burn It Up”.

“Burn It Up” is a hit single by R. Kelly, released in 2009 as part of his album, Untitled. The song samples the 1997 hit single “Make ‘Em Say Uhh!” by Master P and was produced by Trackboyz.

The lyrics to the song speak of a relationship between two people that has become strained due to their inability to express their emotions and feelings. The chorus speaks on how they want to break out of this restrained dynamic, but don’t know how.

“Down Low (Nobody Has to Know)”.

Released in 1995, this song is one of R. Kelly’s most beloved tracks and was featured on his second studio album, “R.Kelly”.

The track deals with infidelity and the consequences that come with it. It features Kelly singing in a low voice about keeping a secret relationship hidden from his lover’s husband.

With its catchy beat, smooth melody and soulful chorus, “Down Low (Nobody Has to Know)” quickly became a hit single and remains one of Kelly’s most popular songs today.

The song was so successful that it spawned two remixes, one featuring artists Ronald Isley, Ernie Isley and Kelly Price.


This song is a classic bop from R. Kelly that speaks to turning up the party and letting go of inhibitions.

The beat is so lively and vibrant it gets people’s toes tapping, hips swaying and heads nodding in agreement.

With lyrics like “Let me see you shake it, don’t fake it” and “Bounce bounce, jump around” it’s hard not to resist moving to the music.

“Gotham City”.

This is one of the most popular R. Kelly songs of all time. It was released in 1997, and quickly became a hit both on the radio and in clubs across the country.

The song has an upbeat tempo and powerful message about never giving up despite adversity. The song is often considered to be a classic and has been covered by many other artists over the years.

It serves as an empowering anthem, reminding listeners that they can overcome any obstacle they face. Many people still enjoy listening to this timeless R. Kelly classic today.

“Happy People”.

This R. Kelly song is a feel-good track that was released in 2004. It has an upbeat tempo and catchy chorus. Lyrically, the song talks about enjoying life and making the most of it while you can.

The song is a reminder to take life one day at a time and enjoy it while we can. It has been praised for its uplifting message and positive vibes.

Musically, the track features an infectious beat, prominent horns, and R. Kelly’s signature vocal stylings. “Happy People” was a hit on both urban contemporary radio stations and mainstream pop charts.

It remains one of R. Kelly’s most popular songs to this day, and a fan favorite at his live shows. The song was also featured on the soundtrack for the movie Barbershop 2: Back in Business.

“I Believe I Can Fly”.

One of the most iconic R. Kelly songs, “I Believe I Can Fly” has become a classic power ballad in the world of music.

The song was released in 1996 as part of the soundtrack for the movie Space Jam, and it immediately gained worldwide attention and acclaim.

A soulful ode to personal aspiration and perseverance, this uplifting song was a hit on the radio, but it also touched people’s hearts and made them believe anything is possible.

The powerful lyrics, coupled with R. Kelly’s soaring vocal performance, have led to this song being covered by numerous artists, becoming a staple at karaoke bars and inspiring countless audiences around the world.

“I Wish”.

Released in 2000, this song is considered one of R. Kelly’s greatest hits and most beloved songs.

It has become an anthem of forgiveness, hope and love for many people around the world. The lyrics speak to the power of time to heal wounds and make memories even stronger with time passing.

The song is a reminder of how relationships can grow stronger over time even if there are difficulties in the present.

It serves as an example of R. Kelly’s ability to make music that speaks to people’s emotions and experiences on a deeply personal level.

This song is a timeless classic that will remain in the hearts of many for years to come.

“If I Could Turn Back the Hands of Time”.

Released in 1999, R. Kelly’s song “If I Could Turn Back the Hands of Time” is a soulful ballad that expresses regret for past mistakes and longing to have them undone.

The song follows R. Kelly’s signature slow-tempo style with heartfelt lyrics. He sings about wishing he could go back in time and undo hurtful things he has said and done, as well as mistakes that have been made along the way.

He laments over not being able to turn back time and fix all the wrongs in his life, but he also finds solace in knowing that if he could get a second chance, things would be different.

The music video for “If I Could Turn Back the Hands of Time” is as visually powerful as the song itself.

It follows R. Kelly through a time-traveling journey with various scenarios in which he wishes he could turn back time to make things right, but ultimately finds comfort in having faith that everything happens for a reason.

“Ignition (Remix)”.

Released in 2003, this R. Kelly song became one of his most well-known hits. It samples the track “Ignition” from his 2002 album TP-2 and features a mixture of dancehall beats, soulful melodies, and clever wordplay by Kelly himself.

The chorus includes the famous line “it’s the remix to ignition,” which has become an iconic part of R. Kelly’s arsenal of hits. The song speaks to Kelly’s ability to craft infectious and memorable lyrics that instantly make you want to dance.

It is a classic example of why R. Kelly continues to be one of the most successful artists in music history. You can hear “Ignition (Remix)” in movies, television shows, and all over the radio. Its classic sound never gets old and will always have a place in pop culture.

“I’m a Flirt”.

“I’m a Flirt” is a song by R&B singer-songwriter R. Kelly that was released in 2007 as the first single from his album Double Up.

The track features T.I. and T-Pain, both of whom are featured on the remix version of the song. The lyrics revolve around R. Kelly’s “laid-back” attitude towards flirting with women and is seen as a throwback to his early days of R&B.

The song has been met with mixed reactions from critics, some noting its Catchy yet misogynistic nature, while others praised it for its catchy beat and sound.

Despite this, “I’m a Flirt” still enjoyed success on the Billboard charts, peaking at number 13 on the Hot 100 and becoming Kelly’s sixth most successful single to date.

It was also certified double platinum in the United States, indicating more than two million copies sold. The song has become a staple of R. Kelly’s live performances and is often performed during concerts and shows.

“I’m Your Angel”.

Written by R. Kelly and Celine Dion, “I’m Your Angel” is a beautiful song of encouragement and hope. The lyrics are simple but powerful as they represent the comforting presence of an angel in times of need.

The power ballad was released in 1998, helping to put both artists on the map for their talents and vocal abilities.

It was an immediate hit in the United States, peaking at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for six weeks and becoming R. Kelly’s sixth song to reach the top spot.

The song also enjoyed success worldwide and continues to be a favorite among fans of both artists today.

“In the Kitchen”.

This R. Kelly song was released in 2005 and features The Game as a guest artist. It has an upbeat rhythm and catchy hook, with lyrics about cooking up something special for the one you love.

The song has become an anthem for cooking up something special in the kitchen. It’s a perfect way to express your love and appreciation, either through food or words.

“It Seems Like You’re Ready”.

This R. Kelly classic was released in 1997 and quickly became a fan favorite. It’s an upbeat, soulful track that captures the feeling of being ready to take on a new romance.

The song is all about putting your best foot forward and going for it, no matter what the odds might be.

With its infectious beat and catchy chorus, this song is sure to get any party started. It’s a great tune for those moments when you just want to let loose and have fun, and it reminds us that we can always take chances and go after our dreams.

“Legs Shakin'”.

The 2013 release from R. Kelly, “Legs Shakin'” is all about getting down on the dancefloor and shaking it up.

Featuring a bouncy hip-hop beat and Kelly’s signature singing style, this track is sure to make any party go with a bang.

Its vibrant chorus will have you moving your feet in no time as he declares “Everybody just get your legs shakin’!” With its catchy hook and clever lyrics, this song is an absolute must-have for any R. Kelly fan’s playlist.

“Number One”.

This is a song by R. Kelly from his 2003 album Chocolate Factory. The track features American rapper T.I.

It was written and produced by R. Kelly and features a mix of samples and interpolations, including the famous “P-Funk” sample from Bootsy Collins’ 1980 single “Body Slam”.

The lyrics focus on love being the number one thing in life, and how no matter what you do or say love should always be your main concern.

The song was met with critical acclaim and peaked at No. 93 on the Billboard Hot 100. The accompanying music video directed by Little X features a black-and-white visual of R. Kelly surrounded by people dancing in an empty lot.

It was shot in Chicago and became a local success, receiving heavy rotation on MTV. The song reached its peak position of number ninety-three on U.S Billboard Hot 100 Charts and has since become one of R. Kelly’s signature songs.

“It Seems Like You’re Ready”.

Released in 1992, “It Seems Like You’re Ready” is an upbeat R&B love song from R. Kelly’s debut solo album, Born into the ’90s.

The song was a Top 10 hit on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart and earned him his first Grammy nomination for Best R&B Vocal Performance.

Lyrically, the song finds Kelly professing his love to a special someone and expressing his desire to take things to the next level with her.

Accompanying the song’s love-struck lyrics is a vibrant production that features a smooth rhythm section and catchy vocal melodies. Musically, it stands out as one of Kelly’s classic hits and is still beloved by fans today.

“Sex Me”.

Released in 1993, “Sex Me” was one of R. Kelly’s very first songs and is a classic to fans. It is his most successful single from his debut album, 12 Play, and also became one of the most popular singles of that year.

The song talks about intimate physical relations between two people which has become a staple of R. Kelly’s music.

It has been covered by many different artists and was also sampled in the song “Fantastic 4” by Busta Rhymes in 1998.

The popular single has given R. Kelly a place in R&B history, as it helped to propel his career into stardom.

“She’s Got That Vibe”.

Perhaps one of R. Kelly’s most iconic songs, “She’s Got That Vibe” was released in 1992 and became an instant classic.

With its catchy beat, clever lyrics, and sexy video, the song skyrocketed to the top of the Billboard charts and earned R. Kelly his first platinum single.

The track features a smooth blend of hip-hop, R&B, and soul, creating an infectious groove that quickly had listeners singing along. It’s a timeless tune that still stands the test of time even decades later.

“Step in the Name of Love (Remix)”.

This R. Kelly song has been remixed many times and is a staple in the music industry. It was released in 2003 as a single from his fifth studio album, Chocolate Factory, and quickly climbed the charts.

The song features lyrics about taking two steps forward and one step back in relationships, which resonated with listeners all over the world. Its infectious beat and passionate lyrics have made it a fan favorite for over 15 years.

“Strip For You”.

This R. Kelly song came out in 2001 as the lead single off his fourth solo album, TP-2. It features Lil’ Kim and tells a story of R. Kelly showing off to a woman he’s interested in by stripping down and serenading her with his seductive lyrics.

The chorus is catchy and memorable, with the memorable lines “I’m gonna strip for you, ooh la la la.” The song was a hit, peaking at number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100.

“The Storm Is Over Now”.

This R. Kelly song is one of his most uplifting and inspirational tunes. It speaks to the resilience of human spirit, encouraging listeners to keep their heads up even in the darkest moments of life.

This simple message is complemented by a powerful beat and soulful, passionate vocals from R. Kelly. The song speaks to the power of hope and the importance of perseverance in overcoming all obstacles, no matter how difficult.

“Trapped in the Closet”.

Written and produced by R. Kelly, this song is a hip-hopera, consisting of 33 individual chapters.

It follows the story of a one night stand that quickly unravels into an increasingly complex web of lies, revelations and backstabbing.

The song was originally released in 2005 as part of Kelly’s album TP.3 Reloaded and later featured in the version of Trapped in the Closet: The Movie. has become an internet sensation and achieved cult status, being spoofed by many shows including South Park and Family Guy.

The song is often seen as a symbol of the ridiculousness of modern American culture and celebrity lifestyle, but it also has a darker side that deals with issues such as infidelity and deception.

The song has been cited as an example of Kelly’s genius for blending genres and creating unique songs that are both accessible and thought-provoking. It is a timeless classic from one of the most influential figures in R&B music, and it stands as a testament to his creativity and originality.

“When a Woman Loves”.

Released in 2009, this R. Kelly song is one of his most popular and beloved songs to date. The lyrics are heartfelt and poetic, as he expresses the love a woman can give when she loves someone truly and deeply.

The track also features Kelly’s signature vocal runs, as well as an infectious synth-heavy beat.

“When A Woman’s Fed Up”.

From his 1998 album “R.”, this R. Kelly song is a heart-wrenching ballad about a woman scorned by her lover and fed up with his lies and cheating ways.

The lyrics capture the emotion of being hurt yet still wanting to love and be loved in return. The verses are full of sentiment as he reflects on his mistakes and pleads for her to stay.

The chorus is a defiant declaration that no matter what, she will make it through this difficult time. With its soulful melody and powerful message, “When A Woman’s Fed Up” has become an anthem of empowerment for women around the world.

“You Remind Me of Something”.

R. Kelly’s 1995 classic has become a timeless hit, beloved by fans of all ages. The song is about a man who looks at a woman and is reminded of something that he can’t quite put his finger on.

It’s been covered and sampled by many different artists over the years, but its catchy hook and heartfelt lyrics remain as relevant now as when it first came out.

“Your Body’s Callin'”.

This R. Kelly classic was released in 1994 and peaked at number 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, appearing on his debut solo album, 12 Play.

The song is a romantic ode to an attractive woman that Kelly meets at a club, with verses describing her body and how her presence affects him.

The chorus finds him begging her to stay with him and “Callin’ me when your body’s ready for the bomb.”

The song helps to set the tone for Kelly’s career as a masterfully-crafted songwriter, crafting heartfelt lyrics about physical intimacy without being too explicit. It also has a classic R&B beat that is sure to get any listener grooving along.


While R. Kelly’s music has enjoyed immense popularity, it has not been without its share of controversies. His lyrical themes often attract criticism for their focus on sex and relationships, leading some to argue that his work objectifies women.

Throughout his career, R. Kelly has also faced numerous legal issues and allegations, which have cast a shadow on his musical legacy.

R. Kelly’s Musical Legacy

Despite the controversies surrounding his personal life, R. Kelly’s lasting impact on the music world is undeniable. His blend of R&B, soul, and hip-hop have been hugely influential, with many artists citing him as an inspiration for their own work.

He has also paved the way for many other African-American singers and songwriters to achieve success in the mainstream music industry. In short, R. Kelly’s influence on the music scene is undeniable and his legacy will be remembered for many years to come.


What is R Kelly’s biggest hit?

R Kelly’s biggest hit is “I Believe I Can Fly”, which peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1997.

How many #1 hit songs does R Kelly have?

He has had a total of 11 number one songs on the US R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Chart, including “Ignition (Remix)”, “Step in the Name of Love”, and “Bump N’ Grind”.

Is R Kelly’s music still selling?

Yes, his music is still selling, with many of his classic albums like 12 Play and The R. in R&B: Greatest Hits remaining popular among fans.

What was R Kelly’s first hit song?

R. Kelly’s first hit song was “She’s Got That Vibe”, which peaked at number eight on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop chart in 1992.

What popular songs did R. Kelly write?

R. Kelly has written hundreds of songs, including hits such as “I Believe I Can Fly”, “Ignition (Remix)”, “Step in the Name of Love”, and “Bump N’ Grind”. He has also written for other artists, such as Michael Jackson’s “You Are Not Alone” and Whitney Houston’s “I Look to You”.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here