In some ways, there isn't much we don't know about [artist id="10489"]R. Kelly[/artist]. Yet, the Chicago singer who has spent the past 20 years revealing his every fantasy and desire promises to reveal the Robert Sylvester Kelly nobody knows in his upcoming autobiography.
According to an announcement released Wednesday, the book, due in 2011 from SmileyBooks — the book imprint of radio/TV host Tavis Smiley — will be authored with celebrity writer David Ritz, who has collaborated on autobiographies with Ray Charles, Smokey Robinson and Aretha Franklin.
"I'm writing this book as Robert, not R. Kelly," the singer said in announcing the untitled book. "I'm tired of being misunderstood. I will show you the tears, fears and sweat. I will open my heart and reveal the good in my life as well as all the drama. I want to tell it like it is."
Among the topics Kelly — who recently claimed he is functionally illiterate — is slated to cover in the book are the pain of losing his mother, the stories behind such hits as "I Believe I Can Fly" and Michael Jackson's "You Are Not Alone," as well as the six-year child-pornography trial that nearly overtook his music career for much of the past decade and ended in his acquittal in 2008.
"We are thrilled to be the conduit through which R. Kelly will tell his own story," Smiley said. "He has earned the right to tell his story his own way."
Kelly's first album since his acquittal in the case, Untitled, was released last week and debuted at #4 on the Billboard albums chart, moving 114,000 copies.