Well this certainly isn't something you hear every day in the music world: R. Kelly, the controversy-riddled R&B singer/songwriter and inspiration for Dave Chappelle's second-greatest impersonation, has revealed that he suffers from illiteracy, and in fact barely made it through grade school.
The superstar performer recently spoke at the Midwest Music Festival in Chicago, and confessed – with a certain confounding defiance – to his reading difficulty, according to The Boombox.
"When I was trying to make it out here, I already knew, and I was stubborn about it," he said. "I don't even read really and I'm not afraid to say that. My cousins and brothers used to tease me 'you can't even read right. How you think you're going to come up?' The only reason I graduated from grammar school is because I had a great jump shot. I went to high school and [my teacher] told me 'you will be one of the greatest writers of all time.' I believed. You [have to] believe it. You can't believe [anything] if you're hating. You can't achieve [anything] if you're hating."
Kelly has been hard at work on his upcoming new album, Black Panties, since being cleared on child molestation charges (despite damning video evidence). The 42-year-old knows he has his doubters, but is relentlessly focused. "I got ya'll beat if you're hating on me," he said. "Because I love you. That's why I keep doing what I do."
Kelly's forthcoming album is due in stores Oct. 12.