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Robert Sylvester Kelly, 8 January 1967 (1969 is also cited), Chicago, Illinois, USA. This urban R&B singer-songwriter and producer first made an impact in 1991 with his band Public Announcement, and has since become one of Americas most successful solo artists.
Kelly grew up in the housing projects of Chicagos South Side, but channelled his energies away from fast money-making schemes and into long-term musicianship. He had a natural flair for most instruments, eventually becoming, more by accident than design, a useful busking act. It earned him a living, until constant police disruptions forced him to reconsider his employment. He put together the R&B outfit MGM, and went on to win a national talent contest on the Big Break television show, hosted by Natalie Cole. Unfortunately, that outfits energy dissipated, and his next major break came when manager Barry Hankerson spotted him while auditioning for a play at the...