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truth and lies

Does R. Kelly Study German Poetry?

Photo by Getty Images

If half of the things people have said about R. Kelly were true, his legal bills would be huge — and he has to work pretty hard to pay them off as it is. You can't make this stuff up: May 29 sees the release of Double Up, the R&B auteur's eighth studio album, slated to feature not just horny sex jams like "Get Dirty," "Sex Planet," and "Havin' a Baby," but also "Rise Up," Kelly's gospel tribute to the students of Virginia Tech ("Sex Planet" actually segues directly into "Rise Up"). Of course, this won't be the first time the singer's prodigious sexual appetite and affected choirboy persona have bumped n' ground; he's scored hits like 1996's inspirational "I Believe I Can Fly" and "I'm Your Angel," a 1998 duet with Celine Dion, all while (allegedly) engaging in relationships with minors that would later cost him an indictment on 21 charges of child pornography. We may not know if it's really Kelly on that infamous videotape — like his attorneys say, "his likeness may have been computer generated" — but there's one outrageous detail about him we're sure is verifiable. Below are three libelous falsehoods and one biographical item that's as true as Kelly's "Feelin' on Yo Booty" is explicit. Tomorrow, find out which is which.

a) Misleading title aside, "Sex Me, Pts. 1 & 2," from 1993's 12 Play, is actually based on the obscure German poetry of Friedrich Hölderlin.

b) Kelly once left a sold-out concert to serve drive-thru customers at a local McDonald's.

c) He was a virgin until he was 24.

d) During the sessions for "I'm Your Angel," he and Celine Dion had a torrid love affair that Kelly would later document with the songs "(Sex) Love Is What We Makin," "Hit It Till the Mornin'," and "Trapped in the Closet Chapter 11." —Lane Brown