Posted by | Tamara Ren’ee

Soulacoaster: The Diary of Me  depicts the life of singer-songwriter R. Kelly.  The book delves into his family, music and life as performer.  The reader is taken on a journey that reveals just enough of Kelly’s life while maintaining some sense privacy.

From the very beginning of his life, it is clear that Kelly is torn between the secular and the sacred.  Throughout the book, examples of mixed messages are detailed; from his mother speaking in tongues by day to Kelly sneaking into a lounge to sing back up with her band by night.

By the time Kelly was eight years-old, he was being molested by a teenage girl and taking pornographic pictures of adults in his mother’s home on the South Side of Chicago.  His life experiences have allowed him to write and sing songs that uniquely blend intimacy and encouragement.  From his own account Kelly describes his union with music, “like I had a radio playing nonstop in my head. I would hear melodies, although I never knew what they meant. In fact, I thought everybody heard the music.”

Kelly, who has a reading disability, says his middle school teacher Lena McLin saw his talent from the moment she met her student.  McLin told him, “You are going to be famous. You are going to write songs for Michael Jackson. You are going to travel the world.”


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