R. Kelly appears for a hearing at Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., June 26, 2019 (Photo: Jason Wambsgans via Reuters)

R&B singer R. Kelly is on trial in Brooklyn federal court on charges he led a two-decade racketeering scheme in which women and girls were recruited for him to have sex with and subjected to physical abuse and blackmail.

Kelly has denied the charges.

Below is a timeline of events leading up to the trial:

Jan. 8, 1967: Robert Sylvester Kelly is born in Chicago.

January 1992: Kelly's debut album, "Born into the '90s," launches him to stardom.

August 1994: Kelly, 27, marries his singing protege Aaliyah Haughton, 15, allegedly bribing a local official to obtain a fake identification that said she was 18 years old. Prosecutors say Kelly met Aaliyah, as she was known, when she was 12, and shortly thereafter began a sexual relationship.

February 1995: Kelly's and Aaliyah's marriage is annulled.

November 1995: Kelly releases the album "R. Kelly," which reaches No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 200.

January 1997: Kelly's song "I Believe I Can Fly," from the soundtrack to the movie "Space Jam," reaches No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and wins three Grammy awards.

1996: Kelly marries dancer Andrea Lee, 22. They have three children.

February 1997: Tiffany Hawkins sues Kelly for sexual battery, which allegedly began when she was a minor. They settle out of court.

December 2000: The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Kelly habitually had sexual relationships with underage girls.

June 2002: Kelly is indicted in Chicago on child pornography charges following the release of a videotape showing him having sex with a minor.

September 2005: Andrea Kelly seeks an order of protection, claiming Kelly hit her.

June 2008: A jury acquits Kelly in the child pornography case.

January 2009: Kelly and his wife confirm they have divorced.

July 2017: Buzzfeed reports that Kelly is holding women in what their parents describe as a cult, fueling renewed attention to the accusations against the singer.

August 2017: Jerhonda Pace, who claims Kelly sexually abused her and was the first prosecution witness in the Brooklyn trial, breaks a nondisclosure agreement and goes public with accusations against Kelly.

January 2019: The Lifetime documentary "Surviving R. Kelly" details more accusations against Kelly, prompting new calls that he be investigated.

February 2019: Kelly is indicted for sexual abuse by a Cook County, Illinois grand jury. A new indictment follows in May.

July 2019: Kelly is indicted in Chicago federal court for child pornography and obstruction of justice, and in Brooklyn federal court for racketeering. He is jailed in Chicago.

August 2019: Kelly is charged in Minnesota state court with engaging in prostitution with a girl under 18.

June 2021: Kelly fires two of his four lawyers in the Brooklyn case. Both are later replaced. Kelly is moved to a Brooklyn jail for his upcoming trial.

August 9, 2021: Jury selection in Brooklyn federal court begins.

August 18, 2021: Brooklyn sex abuse trial begins.


- Reporting by Brendan Pierson in New York