In his own words, music icon Robert Sylvester Kelly takes readers on an emotion-packed “soulacoaster“ride that explores the untold story of his frequently sensationalized but rarely humanized life. With searing honesty, Kelly delivers a fascinating portrait of a gifted soul trapped in the conflicting realities of “bump and grind” sexuality and soul-stirring “I Believe I Can Fly” spirit. Kelly’s spectacular rise from street performer to superstar who has sold more than 35 million records worldwide was derailed when he plummeted into a six-year legal ordeal that nearly ruined his life and finances—until in 2008 he was found innocent of all criminal charges.
In Kelly’s most intimate and revealing project to date, Soulacoaster: The Diary of Me (SmileyBooks, June 28, 2012, ISBN: 978-1401928353, $29.95, Hardcover), a memoir written in three acts, employs the same dramatic plot twists and turns that mesmerized fans of Kelly’s hip-hopera Trapped in the Closet.
“In the tradition of legendary soul singer/songwriters, R. Kelly has defined his own unique style of genius while influencing an entire generation of singers,” says chairman and CEO of Epic Records, Antonio “L.A.” Reid. “He is the pure essence of soul, and in Soulacoaster you’ll discover the untold story behind every song.”
Soulacoaster “Act I: Back in the Day” chronicles the musician’s early life on Chicago’s south side with Joann Kelly, his beloved soul-singer mother. Kelly reveals the secret pain of too early, too often sexual trauma that impacted him as a child. Plagued by a crippling learning disorder that left him unable to read or write even to this very day, young Kelly compensated for his deficiencies by perfecting his basketball skills until his dream was nearly destroyed by random gun violence. When his music teacher/mentor Lena McLin prophesied that music, not basketball, would be his destiny, he wanted to believe her.
In “Act II: Getting Busy,” Kelly evolves from a Chicago drop-out to a struggling L.A. musician homeless on the sands of Venice Beach while wrestling with the hard-to-resist sexual and financial temptations that accompany sudden stardom. Kelly’s musical genius shines as he describes the genesis of hits like “12-Play,” “Bump N’ Grind,” “I’m Your Angel,” and “We Thuggin.” When Kelly writes and produces for his musical hero Michael Jackson, readers learn how initially he was not credited as writer on “You Are Not Alone,” and what happened when he pushed back.
“R. Kelly is R&B,” says actor and singer Tyrese Gibson. “In Soulacoaster you’ll discover that his genius rests in his ability to constantly push the musical envelope as he explores the intimate aspects of love and lust, pain and joy, defeat and triumph.”
“Act III: In the Ring,” Kelly boxes against real-life challenges including: the diss-respect of colleagues, the painful end of his 12-year marriage, and the pepper spray truth behind the “Best of Both Worlds Tour.” During this time, Kelly faced down his detractors orchestrating the most prolific period of his career at The Chocolate Factory– even as his legal team advised him to slow down, hide out, and cop a plea.
By 2008, Kelly had won the hardest fight of his life and in 2010, he re-emerged on the world stage when his inspirational anthem “Sign of Victory” opened the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
The beautifully designed Soulacoaster includes more than 130 color photographs that offer a truly dimensional portrait of Robert Kelly, the mama’s boy, the brother, the artist, the father, and most of all, Robert the man.
Join R. Kelly on the Soulacoaster Tour in the following 4 cities:
|New York||Thursday, June 28||Chicago||Saturday, July 14|
|Washington, DC||Saturday, June 30||Los Angeles||TBD|
On June 26, Kelly will release Write Me Back, a dynamic twelve-song CD collection available in stores and on Amazon.
Pre-orders for The Limited Collector’s Editions of Soulacoaster: The Diary of Me , created especially for Kelly’s devoted fans, will go on sale today. The Limited Editions offer special features including an original poster, a VIP all-access pass, lyric cards, an enhanced CD, and more, and are available only at www.rkellysoulacoaster.com.
For more information about Soulacoaster: The Diary of Me , visit: www.rkellysoulacoaster.com.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Named the No. 1 R&B/hip-hop artist of the past 25 years by Billboard magazine, this three-time Grammy Award winner, whose remarkable career spans more than two decades, has thrilled audiences and sold more than 35 million records worldwide, including six No. 1 albums, twelve platinum-plus selling albums, and twelve No. 1 singles. Over the years, he has collaborated with music icons from all genres, including Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, The Notorious B.I.G., and more.
Soulacoaster: The Diary of Me
By R. Kelly with David Ritz
Publication date: June 28, 2012
7.25 x 9.125 inches
392 pages; $29.95
SmileyBooks, June 2012