• Joann Lee Kelly (Buku Abi) is an American rapper, singer and songwriter born in 1998 in Chicago, Illinois.
• Her parents divorced in 2009 and her mother remarried in 2014, but divorced two months later.
• Joann's brother, Jay, came out as transgender in 201•
• Her debut R&B album, "Don't Call Me," was released in 2019 and it was named one of the best albums of 2019.
• Her father is Robert Sylvester Kelly, an American songwriter, record producer, singer, semi-professional basketball player and actor.


Early life, family, educational background

American rapper, singer and songwriter Joann Lee Kelly, was born on 19 March 1998 in Chicago, Illinois USA, so her sign of the zodiac is Pisces and she holds American nationality. She was born to singer/songwriter Robert “R” Kelly, and choreographer and dancer Andrea Kelly. She has two brothers, Robert Kelly Jr. and Jay Kelly.

Family’s personal life

Her parents divorced in 2009, and Joann’s mother, Andrea remarried in 2014 to Brian Mckee, a 36-year-old R&B singer and barber, however, she sued for divorce after just two months, following accusations of Brian being unfaithful. At the age of 14, Joann’s brother Jay came out on his Ask.fm account as a transgender boy. In Paper’s Pride Issue, he shared, ‘When I posted that video, I was so scared.’


Singer/songwriter Joann Kelly is professionally known as “Buku Abi,” and rose to fame in 2015 after collaborating with her father on the popular single, “Wanna Be There.” In March 2019, she released her debut R&B album “Don’t Call Me.” The majority of the album’s reviews were positive, and the Star Tribune even named it one of the best albums of 2019. Buku Abi uses her music as a form of therapy, and has been quoted that music has ‘… literally saved…’ her life. She also sees her music as her most substantial connection to her father. On her father she has said, ‘There’s a lot about him as an artist that inspires me.’

Who is R Kelly?

Robert Sylvester Kelly was born on 8 January 1967, at Chicago Lying-in Hospital in Hyde Park, Chicago. He is an American songwriter, record producer, singer, semi-professional basketball player and actor.

He was born to Joanne Kelly, who sadly passed away in 1993 after losing her battle with cancer; his father has never been disclosed, with The Chicago Sun-Times saying that his father was ‘missing through most of his youth,’ but in GQ’s interview, R. Kelly himself said that his father left before his birth. He has three siblings, Carey, Theresa and Bruce. He grew up in the southern part of Chicago. In “Surviving R. Kelly,” Carey said, ‘It was a struggle [living in a single-parent household], but we never went hungry.’


Kelly’s role in redefining hip-hop and R&B is widely recognized in the music industry. He is often nicknamed the “King of Pop-Soul,” the “King of R&B” and the “Pied Piper of R&B.” He has an extensive list of hits including, “Bump N’ Grind,” “The World’s Greatest,” “Trapped in a Closet,” and “If I Could Turn Back the Hands of Time”.

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His most well-known song, “I Believe I Can Fly” won three Grammy Awards in 1998. R. Kelly has also written, remixed and produced albums, singles and songs for other artists, such as “You Are Not Alone,” sung by Michael Jackson, and for which R. Kelly was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1996. Worldwide, he has sold more than 75 million records, actually the 1990’s most successful R&B male artist. Globally, he is one of the bestselling artists – in the US alone he has sold over 32 million albums, and is the 55th best-selling music artist in the country. Billboard listed him as the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Artist from 1985 to 2010, and historically the most prosperous R&B artist. After his mother Joanne’s death in 1993, R. Kelly focused on creating gospel music.

According to his interview with GQ, he never left his mother’s side until she died, and had promised to make her proud through his musical achievements. Journalist Jim DeRogatis disagrees in his investigative book, “Soulless: The Case Against R. Kelly,” wherein he claims that R. Kelly and Joanne were not getting along at the time of her passing. According to sources Jim interviewed, R. Kelly shunned his mother once he became famous. In the book, he also states that R. Kelly, ‘…refused to deal with her medical bills — she checked into the office under a false name — although he had the money.’ The Chicago Sun-Times released a story told from an associate of Joanne’s. On her deathbed, Joanne shared that R. Kelly attempted suicide at 13, but that he forged the story of being shot by a gang to cover it up.

Kelly is publicly vocal about his experiences in sexual abuse, and considers himself a sexual abuse survivor.

Joann Kelly

In “Soulless,” Jim speculates that R. Kelly’s half-sister, Theresa, sexually abused both him and his half-brother, Carey, which Carey supported in his interview with Jim, saying, ‘Theresa is the cause of everything happening in the way that it did.’ R. Kelly’s former manager also accepted an interview with Jim, and elaborated, ‘[Kelly] was hypersexual, not because he chose to be, but because of his sister.’ Although close sources spoke their pieces, neither R. Kelly nor Theresa have addressed the allegations to either confirm, deny or comment on them.

Whether or not his sister was an assailant, his sexual abuse past greatly affected him. He has been accused of misconduct and sexual abuse since the 1990s, most allegations involving underage girls all of which he denies. In 2008 he was cleared on all charges regarding 13 counts of child pornography against him.

In January 2019, Lifetime released a documentary entitled “Surviving R. Kelly,” focusing on the various sexual abuse allegations, all of which are denied by R. Kelly. Following the documentary’s release, the public protested online with the use of the hashtag #MuteRKelly, calling for RCA Records to drop him as an artist – the broad support for the cause and pressure placed on the label forced them to officially drop him. On 22 February 2019, he was charged with ten counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, and on 11 July 2019, he was arrested on federal charges alleging obstruction of justice and sex crimes. As of 12 July 2019, he has a total of 18 federal counts including kidnapping, child pornography and forced labor, and he’s currently imprisoned at Metropolitan Correctional Center, Chicago, awaiting trial. In early March 2020, his ex-girlfriend, Clary, opened up about her abuse from R. Kelly shortly before she ended the relationship earlier in the year.

A video was posted to her Instagram in promotion of her upcoming documentary about her relationship with R. Kelly, which shows a distressed Clary speaking on the phone with a federal agent. She became a co-operative witness after breaking up with R. Kelly. When the federal agent brings up the cache of 100 electronic devices hidden in storage – which Clary had declared – she shares that they will find a video of her eating her faeces. She claims that R. Kelly had forced her to do it, ‘… he made me do this video of me doing a number two in a cup, and then eating it out of the cup.’


Kelly married his former backup dancer Andrea Lee in 1996, who is the mother of his three children. He built a house in Olympia Fields in 1997, and the family moved in later that year. In September 2005, Andrea filed a restraining order against R. Kelly after he assaulted her in reaction to her request for a divorce.

In 2006, she officially filed for divorce, which was finalized in January 2009. As of 2019, R. Kelly’s net worth is estimated at close to $1 million.

Personal life

In 2019, she publicly went against her father following the release of “Surviving R. Kelly”, as he was absent from her life for many years. In an Instagram post of January 2019, she shared that she was not surprised by the allegations, but she was devastated, nonetheless. She continued by explaining her point of view, ‘[That] same monster you all are confronting me about is my father. I am well aware of who and what he is. I grew up in that house. My choice not to speak on him and what he does is for my peace of mind. My emotional state. And for my healing.’ In September 2019, she was interviewed by the Associated Press, revealing that the first time she heard about the sexual allegations against her father, was from rumors going around in her school, during grade five or six.

R. Kelly slammed by estranged daughter Joann Lee KellyR. Kelly's estranged daughter has broken her silence with a…

Posted by Henriette Thatcher's Lounge on Friday, January 11, 2019

Hobbies, favorite things and interesting facts

She was named after her paternal grandmother.

Her favorite…

  • Actor is Tom Cruise.
  • Actress is Olivia Newton-John.
  • Food is pizza and sweet corn soup.


She has black hair and dark brown eyes. She is 5ft 3in (1.6m) tall and weighs about 120lbs (55kgs).

Net worth and salary

Her net worth is estimated at over $300,000, as of early 2020.

, Wikipedia

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