R. Kelly’s Kids: Everything To Know About His 3 Children & Their Relationship With Their Dad

R. Kelly, who was married from 1996 to 2009, shares all of his children with Kelly, Andrea “Drea” Kelly, including Robert Jr., 19, Jay Kelly, 21, and Joann Kelly, 23. He will be sentenced to prison on May 4, 2022, leaving his children behind. R. Kelly, the singer famously detailed in the 2019 Lifetime documentary “Surviving R. Kelly,” was convicted by a federal jury in Brooklyn for his infamous crimes, including racketeering and sex trafficking. Currently, he is facing decades in prison after being found guilty.

R. Kelly
R. Kelly leaves the Daley Center in Chicago on May 8, 2019 (Photo: Matt Marton/AP/Shutterstock)

As expected, Kelly R. Kelly has a complicated relationship with his children due to the sex crimes he has been accused of, and Drea, the singer accused of physically and emotionally abusing her, told me that it breaks her heart to have to deal with the legacy of this now, as my children will have to deal with their children’s grandchildren and children’s children. It’s very difficult for me to separate myself from your bloodline and walk away from it, but I have the ability to distance myself and escape, even if they wanted to.

Below, all the information about R. Kelly’s three kids, including what they have openly stated about their father’s widely-publicized sexual offenses.

Joann Kelly
Joann Kelly, aka Buku Abi, pictured in Atlanta, Georgia on Aug. 19, 2019 (Photo: John Amis/AP/Shutterstock)

R. Kelly’s oldest offspring is Joann Kelly, who is also known as Buku Abi. Joann, a vocalist like her father, disclosed to her supporters in November 2020 that she had experienced a miscarriage the preceding month.

“I’ve been persevering through it,” said Joann. “I’ve definitely encountered turmoil … Being judged for truly no reason at all, just based off connections. People not wanting to collaborate with me simply because of who he is or people desiring to collaborate with me to spite him, I definitely face challenges,” she said. Joann also referred to being R. Kelly’s daughter as “a two-sided coin,” and expressed how it impacts her role in the music industry. “I don’t personally search for and read about it all. I distance myself from it,” she said in the interview. “(We) don’t have a relationship, so it’s not my habit to check in on him. “I don’t let that become a part of my everyday life,” she said in the interview. Several months after the release of Surviving R. Kelly, Joann spoke to the Associated Press in a rare interview about her father’s crimes and revealed that she is completely estranged from him.

Jay Kelly

Jay, a celebrity, doesn’t think of himself as famous and ignores most questions about his famous father. He also confirmed that his mom refers to him as a boy. When asked if his dad gets mad, Jay simply responded, “Nope. You know?” Jay also addressed his father’s lack of support on the Q&A website When.Fm, saying, “Don’t even give credit to those kind of blogs… Even if they were true because I really don’t wanna open up about my daughter becoming my son.” The star of B&R, Jay, later told WGCI, “Jay’s transition is not supported by Jay’s dad, Kelly R.” However, when Jay was 13 in 2014, his parents originally named him Jaya and he was actually born female. Jay is the middle child of Drea and Kelly R.

Jay hinted on his Instagram in July 2021 that an album would be arriving shortly. His latest track, “Focus,” was released in October 2019. He introduced his debut single, “Reservoir,” in 2014 and produces music under the alias JaahBaby. Jay has taken inspiration from R. Kelly and embarked on a musical career, much like his sister.

Robert Kelly Jr.

Drea remembered that when she arrived at the emergency room, she learned from the doctors that she had to induce labor right away in order to survive. She recalled that she was under a lot of stress and couldn’t find her baby’s heartbeat when she went to the OBGYN. Kelly R. Jr., Kelly’s youngest child, was born under very difficult circumstances while Drea was dealing with abuse at the hands of his ex.

On The Bert Show in January 2019, Drea stated, “Currently, he lacks any connection with his children. He refrains from contacting them and even altered his phone number. We are unaware of his current contact details.” Nevertheless, Drea previously mentioned that none of her children, including Robert Jr., Maintain communication with the R&B singer. Robert Jr. Maintains a significantly lesser public presence compared to his older siblings and has not openly addressed his father’s wrongdoings.