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R. Kelly timeline: A chronology from birth to trial

May 8, 2008

Here is a timeline of important events in R. Kelly�s life, including a musical career that has sold more than 34 million albums and a troubled path that has brought him to trial on May 9 on 14 counts of making child pornography.

Jan. 8, 1967: Robert Sylvester Kelly is born as the third of four children raised on the South Side of Chicago by a single mother, though many biographies incorrectly list the year of his birth as 1969. His mother, Joann, was a school teacher and a devout Baptist; little is known about his father, who was missing through most of his youth. The family lives for a time in the projects on 63rd Street, and later in a small house at 107th and Parnell, which the singer will revisit some 25 years later as the setting for the video of �I Wish.

1980: Though Kelly often tells the press that he was shot at age 13 when some thugs tried to steal his Huffy bicycle, his mother told a former associate on her death bed that her son had invented that story to cover a suicide attempt. Other friends and associates say Kelly was abused as a young boy by an older man in the neighborhood.

In September, the troubled youth enters Hyde Park�s prestigious Kenwood Academy. He does not graduate, and years later he admits that he has difficulty reading and doing math, but through music teacher Lena McLin, he discovers his true calling when she persuades him to sing Stevie Wonder�s 1982 hit �Ribbon in the Sky� at a high school talent show. �That night it was like Spiderman being bit,� Kelly later tells the Sun-Times. �I discovered this power. I knew I had something then.�

Summer, 1990: Kelly attracts the attention of Chicago-based Jive Records executive Wayne Williams, who overhears him singing at a backyard barbecue on the South Side. Kelly has previously been busking in the subway.

1991: Kelly, 24, signs to Jive a few years before the label becomes one of the biggest in the world as the home to Britney Spears and N �Sync. The label decides to introduce him to music fans as part of a vocal group, Public Announcement, since acts such as Boyz II Men are still ruling the R&B charts.

Jan. 14, 1992: Kelly and Public Announcement release their debut album, �Born Into the �90s.�

January, 1993: The Public Announcement album is certified platinum with sales of a million copies, though Kelly has already split from the group.

Nov. 9, 1993: Kelly releases his first solo album, �12 Play,� so titled because he claims that while other lovers might give you foreplay, he gives you three times more. Powered by hot and horny jams such as �Bump N� Grind,� �Sex Me� and �I Like the Crotch On You,� it eventually sells more than 5 million copies.

May 24, 1994: Aaliyah Dana Haughton�the 15-year-old niece of Kelly�s then-manager, Barry Hankerson�releases her debut album, largely written and produced by Kelly. The title: �Age Ain�t Nothing But a Number.�

Aug. 31, 1994: Kelly and Aaliyah are married at the Sheraton Gateway Suites in Rosemont by the Rev. Nathan J. Edmond of Chicago. He is 27 and she is 15, though a falsified marriage license puts her age at 18. Her family quickly learns of the match and separates the couple.

September, 1994: "Age Ain�t Nothing But A Number� is certified platinum.

October, 1994: The marriage is annulled in Detroit, and court records are sealed. Through the end of her life, when she is killed in a plane crash in August 2002, Aaliyah dodges questions about her relationship with Kelly. �I don�t really comment on that because I know that�s not true,� she tells the Sun-Times in December 1994. �When people ask me, I tell them, �Hey, don�t believe all that mess. We�re close and people took it the wrong way.��

September, 1995: Michael Jackson�s Kelly-produced single �You Are Not Alone� becomes the King of Pop�s first No. 1 hit since he is accused of having sex with an underage boy.

Nov. 14, 1995: Kelly releases his third album, simply titled �R. Kelly.� It goes on to sell more than 7 million copies.

1996: Kelly marries Andrea Lee, a choreographer and dancer from his stage show whose nickname within his inner circle is �Puppydog.� The couple will have three children, though they are very rarely photographed together in public, and Kelly associates tell the Sun-Times that Andrea is expected to knock before entering any room in their house when her husband is at home. In 2003, Andrea�s mother, grandfather and aunt tell the Sun-Times that they are upset because they are not allowed to visit her at Kelly�s Olympia Fields home, or even to speak to her on the phone.

July, 1996: Kelly is booked on battery charges in Lafayette, La., after a fight between him, members of his entourage and three Louisiana men on the basketball court at a local health club. Kelly associates say he was terrified during his time behind bars, and vowed never to be incarcerated again.

December, 1996: The Kelly single �I Believe I Can Fly� from the �Space Jam� soundtrack peaks at No. 2 on the Billboard singles chart.

Dec. 24, 1996: Kelly is sued for $10 million by Tiffany Hawkins, who claims she met the star when he came back to Kenwood Academy to talk to his old mentor Lena McLin�s music class. According to the lawsuit, Hawkins began having sex with Kelly in 1991, when she was 15, and the relationship ended in 1994, when she turned 18. (He would have been aged 24 to 27.) Hawkins� charges are not reported until years later as part of an investigative story by the Sun-Times.

March, 1997: Kelly, who has always called himself �a devoted mama�s boy,� suffers the loss of his mother Joann to cancer. Days later, he joins gospel performer Kirk Franklin onstage to announce that he has found Jesus and is devoting himself to the Lord.

June, 1997: Kelly is led in handcuffs before a federal judge in Lafayette, La. after missing a hearing on the lawsuit filed by the men involved in the 1996 health club fight.

July, 1997: Kelly settles the lawsuit with the men from Lafayette.

January 23, 1998: Kelly settles the lawsuit with Hawkins just four days after she gave a seven-hour deposition. Terms of the settlement prohibit Hawkins from talking about the amount, though sources tell the Sun-Times it was $250,000, and she is prohibited from speaking to anyone about her relationship with Kelly.

Joavante Cunningham, who worked as one of Kelly�s dancers, later tells the Sun-Times that everything started going downhill for Kelly when he settled with Hawkins: �The brother�s got problems. He definitely has something going on psychologically. He should have learned from the Hawkins case and got some help.� Another woman, a friend of Hawkins� who was prepared to testify in the case to being involved in a threesome with Kelly and the plaintiff, tells the paper: �I�m not trying to down him, because I honestly think it has to be a sickness. Looking at pictures of me and Tiffany when we were freshmen � boy, we were ugly little girls compared to what he could have had, so I didn�t understand why he did what he did.�

February, 1998: Kelly wins three Grammys for �I Believe I Can Fly�: best R&B song, best song written for a motion picture and best male R&B performance.

April, 1998: Kelly is arrested in Chicago for disorderly conduct and a noise violation after allegedly becoming verbally abusive when asked to turn down the booming stereo in his 1998 Lincoln.

May, 1998: The Chicago charges are dropped.

Nov. 10, 1998: Kelly releases his fourth solo album, titled even more simply �R.� It eventually sells 8 million copies.

January, 1999: Kelly hits No. 1 on Billboard�s singles chart with �I�m Your Angel,� a duet with Celine Dion from �R.�

1999: Speaking to the Sun-Times several years later, a Los Angeles woman says she met Kelly in 1999 during the video shoot for �If I Could Turn Back the Hands of Time.� She was 17 years old at the time, though she did not have sex with the star until she turned 18 in 2000. Kelly never told her that he was married, and they began fighting as soon as she found out: �I do believe he does have a problem,� she tells the newspaper.

A former Kelly assistant tells the Sun-Times that during this same period, the backstage area at the star�s concerts are often filled with underage girls. �He likes the babies, and that�s the sickness. He can control her and she don�t know no better.�

Early 2000: More than five years after the affair with his niece, Aaliyah, Hankerson resigns as Kelly�s manager. He writes a letter to the star�s attorney that says he believes Kelly needs psychiatric help for his compulsion to pursue underage girls. Hankerson has never spoken publicly about Kelly, but an attorney for Hankerson confirmed the substance of the letter in an interview with the Sun-Times.

October, 2000: Kelly participates in Chicago�s Principal for a Day program.

Nov. 7, 2000: Kelly releases his fifth solo album, �TP2.com,� which debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard albums chart and eventually sells more than 4 million copies. Like the best work of the great Marvin Gaye, it is sometimes a strange mix of the sacred and the profane, with songs such as �I Wish,� a lush and beautiful homage to his dead mother, following tracks like �Like a Real Freak,� in which Kelly croons, �Girl, your sex is so good I just can�t get enough/You go up and down/To the left and the right/You go in and out/And work it like a real freak should.�

Nov. 15, 2000: Kelly is honored by the Chicago Chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, receiving one of its first Legacy Awards for philanthropic efforts on behalf of the community.

Dec. 21, 2000: The Chicago Sun-Times publishes its first investigative report about what it calls a pattern of R. Kelly abusing his wealth and fame as a pop star to enter into sexual relationships with underage girls. The result of seven weeks of reporting, the story is prompted by an anonymous fax to the paper that reads: �You wrote about R. Kelly [in a review of �TP2.com�] and compared him to Marvin Gaye. Well, I guess Marvin Gaye had problems too, but I don�t think they were like Robert�s� Robert�s problem is young girls� I�ve known Robert for many years and I�ve tried to get him to get help, but he just won�t do it. So I�m telling you about it hoping that you or someone at your newspaper will write an article about it and then Robert will have no choice but to get help and stop hurting the people he�s hurting.�

January 2001: A video tape is anonymously sent to the Sun-Times showing Kelly having sex with a young woman. The tape is turned over to police, who cannot identify the woman or determine her age. (This is not the video tape that leads to Kelly�s indictment.)

August, 2001: Kelly is sued by another Chicago woman, Tracy Sampson, a former intern at Epic Records who claims she lost her virginity to the singer at age 17. �I was lied to by him,� she claims in the lawsuit. �I was coerced into receiving oral sex from a girl I did not want to have sex with. I was often treated as his personal sex object and cast aside. He would tell me to come to his studio and have sex with him, then tell me to go. He often tried to control every aspect of my life including who I would see and where I would go.� The case eventually is settled out of court when Kelly pays Sampson an undisclosed sum.

Feb. 8, 2002: The Sun-Times reports that police are investigating a 26-minute, 39-second videotape video tape that allegedly shows Kelly having sex with an underage girl. The tape was anonymously given to the Sun-Times, which promptly turned it over to police. In it, a man resembling Kelly tells the girl to call him daddy, they have sex and he urinates on her. The girl in the video is identified for the Sun-Times by her aunt, who said that her niece would have been about 14 at the time the tape was made, based on her appearance. The man in the tape also can be heard referring to the girl by her first name.

Interviewed by WMAQ-Channel 5 the same day, shortly before performing for an audience of millions worldwide at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics, Kelly says of the Sun-Times story: �It�s not true. All I know is this: I have a few people in the past that I�ve fired� people that I�ve thought were my friends that�s not my friends� It�s crap, and that�s how we're going to treat it�. The reason these things are happening I really do believe is because of the fact that I didn�t fall back as far as blackmail was concerned. I didn�t give them any money.� Asked why he was speaking out when he declined to comment for the Sun-Times story, he said he felt he owed fans an explanation. �The world is getting ready to watch me sing a song called �The World�s Greatest,� and you�ve got a tape out there trying to ruin my career.�

March, 2002: Bootleg copies of �the R. Kelly sex tape� are widely available for sale on street corners across the U.S.: $10 for VHS, $15 for DVD. Among those standing by the singer are executives at his long-time record label, which issues this statement: �R. Kelly has been with Jive Records for 11 years, and we fully support him and his music.�

March 19, 2002: Kelly releases his first collaboration with superstar rapper Jay-Z, �The Best of Both Worlds.� Sales are disappointing � only a million copies�and Jay-Z seems to distance himself from Kelly when he cancels a proposed tour supporting the disc.

April, 2002: Kelly sells his luxurious home on George Street in Chicago�s Lakeview neighborhood, the alleged scene of the child-porn tape, for $2.25 million. His main residence becomes a palatial home in suburban Olympia Fields.

April 29, 2002: Kelly is sued for the third time by Patrice Jones, a Chicago woman who claims he impregnated her when she was underage, and that one of his associates took her to have an abortion. The lawsuit claims the relationship began after Kelly met the girl in December 1998 at the Rock �n� Roll McDonald�s in Chicago while she was with her date and another couple on her prom night. The case eventually is settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.

The attorney in the case, Susan E. Loggans, is the same lawyer who represented Hawkins and Sampson. She tells the Sun-Times that Kelly also settled with one other girl from Minneapolis before her lawsuit was ever filed.

May 24, 2002: Kelly is sued by yet another woman, Montina Woods, an adult dancer who toured with Kelly�s friend, Ronald Isley. Woods claims she was unknowingly videotaped by Kelly during sex. In the months to come, Loggans tells the Sun-Times that the singer pays additional sums to an unspecified number of other women who threatened to file similar lawsuits; terms of the settlements prohibit her from talking about the specifics.

June 5, 2002: Kelly is indicted on 21 counts of making child pornography. At the press conference announcing the indictment, State�s Attorney Dick Devine says the tape was authenticated by the FBI Crime Lab in Quantico, Va., and experts there said it is not a forgery. Hours later, Kelly is arrested at his vacation home in Florida. That state will also indict him on another 12 counts of making child pornography for images allegedly found in cameras police seized during the arrest.

June 6, 2002: Kelly arrives back home in Chicago, pleads not guilty and posts bail with 750 hundred-dollar bills. Upon leaving the courthouse, he goes to a South Side church with his spiritual adviser, the Rev. James Meeks of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, and sings at a kindergarten graduation ceremony�violating a court order to avoid contact with any children outside his family.

July, 2002: Kelly rush-releases the single �Heaven, I Need a Hug,� which maintains his innocence and attacks the media, members of his inner circle who�ve betrayed him and women who are out to claim his money.

�Dear mama, you wouldn�t believe what I�m goin� through/But still I got my head up just like I promised you/Every since you left your baby, boy�s been dealin� with/Problem after problem, tell me what am I supposed to do,� he sings. �And as for Robert, here�s what I need to do/Get rid of them clowns and get myself a whole �nother crew/Media, do your job/But please just don�t make my job so hard/Somebody please pray what I�m talkin� �bout/I�m still young tryin� to figure it all out/Heaven, I need a hug/Is there anybody out there willin� to embrace a thug?�

Dec. 1, 2003 Kim Dulaney, a 39-year-old South Side woman who was long one of Kelly�s closest confidantes, publishes Star Struck: An American Epidemic, which she calls a �thinly fictionalized account� of her friendship with an R&B superstar who loses control of his sexual impulses and whose morals become �twisted� by fame and money. She tells the Sun-Times that she never witnessed Kelly engaging in sexual activities with minors, but she believes the charges against him are warranted, and that he needs help to stop what she calls his �sexual addiction.� Years earlier, she had published a children�s book entitled I Can Fly (The R. Kelly Story), which she wrote in 1997 with Kelly�s blessing. �His story is an amazing story, which is why this is so sad right now,� she says.

Feb. 18, 2003: Kelly releases his sixth album �Chocolate Factory� after scrapping an earlier release called �Loveland.� It eventually sells 2 million copies with a mixture of lewd come-ons (�Let me stick my key in your ignition, babe,� is the opening line of the single �Ignition�) and protestations of his innocence on unspecified charges (�God will judge me the same as he judges you� he tells the �playa haters� and �fake friends� he says are conspiring against him).

February, 2004: Seven of the 21 counts in the Illinois indictment against Kelly are dropped. He still faces 14 counts of making child pornography, with a possible jail term of 15 years.

March, 2004: The Florida indictment is dropped after Circuit Judge Dennis Maloney agrees with the argument by Kelly�s defense team that sheriff�s detectives in Polk County lacked sufficient evidence to justify a search of Kelly�s home when they arrested him on the Illinois warrant in June 2002. The photos that allegedly showed Kelly having sex with an underage girl were said to be inside a digital camera that was wrapped in a towel inside a duffel bag.

Aug. 24, 2004: Kelly releases the soul and gospel double album �Happy People/U Saved Me,� which eventually sells more than 3 million copies.

Sept. 10, 2004:Kelly performs as an invited guest at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation�s Spouses Benefit Concert. U.S. Rep Bobby Rush (D-Ill) defends the singer�s appearance in an interview with the Sun-Times: �R. Kelly�s performance is to increase the revenues in order to increase the scholarships, which I think is OK.�

Sept. 29, 2004: Kelly kicks off the soon-to-be controversial �Best of Both Worlds� tour with hip-hop superstar Jay-Z at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont. The show includes a skit that features an email message displayed on the giant video screens in which Kelly seeks a female companion who �MUST be down for anything.� His other demand: �She has to at least be 19 or over!�

Oct. 26, 2004: Kelly and Jay-Z release their second collaborative album, �The Best of Both Worlds: Unfinished Business.� It goes on to sell a million copies.

Oct. 23, 2004: Kelly storms off the stage in St. Louis after a screaming match with lighting technicians. He leaves the Savvis Center, drives to a local McDonald�s and spends several hours serving fast-food from the drive-through window.

Oct. 29, 2004: Kelly stops a performance at Madison Square Garden in New York when he claims to have been threatened by a fan brandishing a gun. An altercation follows backstage with a man he says is an associate of Jay-Z, and Kelly is maced and taken to a New York emergency room. The tour falls apart amid a flurry of lawsuits and countersuits.

July 5, 2005: Kelly releases �TP-3: Reloaded,� which includes the first chapters of his soon to be notorious �Trapped in the Closet� operetta. The disc reaches platinum status of a million copies sold.

July 25, 2005: During a hearing before Judge Vincent Gaughan seeking to narrow the time frame in which the alleged R. Kelly sex video was made, a now 21-year-old Oak Park woman testifies that the girl on the tape, her best friend, was only 14 when it was made, saying, �It was the summer after 8th Grade.� Frustrated that prosecutors cannot pinpoint exactly when the tape was made, Judge Gaughan threatens to throw out the case: �Nobody wants to let a monster go free. But nobody wants to convict an innocent individual.�

September 2005: Andrea Kelly files for an order of protection, explaining to the court that when she had told her husband she wanted a divorce, he became angry and hit her. She rescinds the order several weeks later as the couple reportedly reconciles, though she later says they live in separate residences.

Jan. 18, 2006: Derrick Mosley, a Chicago man who tried to blackmail New York Yankees player Gary Sheffield and his wife by claiming to have a video showing her having sex with Kelly, is sentenced to more than two years in prison. Prosecutors say Mosley asked for $20,000 in return for destroying a tape that he claimed showed gospel singer DeLeon Richards-Sheffield having sex with Kelly. Sheffield said in a statement at the time of Mosley�s arrest that his wife �had a long-term relationship with a well-known professional singer over 10 years ago.�

February 2006: Kelly�s brother Kerry releases a DVD that finds him making several scandalous charges about his brother. Kerry Kelly contends that R. Kelly was so proud of the video tape at the heart of the indictment that he constantly showed it to his friends; that once the tape became public, his brother offered him $50,000 in cash and a record deal to lie to police and say that he was the man on the tape; that R. Kelly was emotionally and physically abusive towards his wife and that he has �a problem� with underage girls.

Oct. 4, 2006: Henry �Love� Vaughn, a Chicago man who says he has been a �mentor and guide� to Kelly since the singer was a teen, files a lawsuit alleging that Kelly attacked him during a party at the star�s Olympia Fields home, and that Kelly reneged on an agreement to pay him for the idea for the song �Step in the Name of Love.� In an interview with the Sun-Times, Vaughn says that on the night of the alleged attack, Kelly�s daughter was dancing at the party: �She was all dressed up with tight jeans and makeup on, a seven year old girl, dancing on top of the pool table. It was ridiculous. She told my lady, �I�m having a show next week; when you come, bring $100.� Nobody would tell this, but I ain�t scared to tell the truth. Shame the devil.� Kelly spokesman Allen Mayer says, �Vaughn�s story is outrageous nonsense.�

May 1, 2007: Kelly rush-releases a single, �Rise Up,� to benefit the victims of the Virginia Tech massacre. In an interview with Hip-Hop Soul magazine, the singer boasts, �I�m the Ali of today. I�m the Marvin Gaye of today. I�m the Bob Marley of today. I�m the Martin Luther King, or all the other greats that have come before us. And a lot of people are starting to realize that now.�

May 29, 2007: The artist releases his 11th studio album, �Double Up.� It peaks at No. 1 on the Billboard albums chart and reaches sales of one million copies.

June 2007: Andrea Kelly gives a lengthy interview to Essence magazine. Asked about the charges against her husband, she responds: �C�mon, who would believe all that? That�s why they call them allegations.� She declines to say whether she saw the tape that got her husband indicted. �Why would you ask that question of a woman married with children? It�s ludicrous to ask me a question like that. Really, would you want someone to ask you that? And if they did ask you, would you see the tape?� The writer notes that, �Still, despite her vocal support of her husband, Andrea says she won�t be accompanying him to his court appearances. All the media, all the mess. Besides, she�s got to be with the children.�

July 2006: The Kelly trial is delayed when Judge Gaughan suffers injuries after falling from a ladder while working in his home.

June 5, 2007: Five years to the day after Kelly�s indictment, the Sun-Times quotes several legal experts who say the trial has dragged on for an almost unprecedented amount of time. The American Bar Association says criminal cases should be resolved within a year. �It�s ridiculous that it has taken five years to get to trial,� says New England School of Law Professor Wendy Murphy. �There�s no excuse for it. But this is a tried-and-true tactic when it comes to sex-crimes cases: �victory by delay.�� Says Laurie Levenson, a law professor at Loyola University of Los Angeles: �You see this in death penalty cases, a murder case, but a sex crimes case? This is a long time. It just seems both sides intend to take their time.�

A trial date is finally set for September 2007. �We have been ready for trial for a long time and continue to be ready for trial,� Cook County State�s Attorney Dick Devine says, while Kelly spokesman Allen Mayer says, �Rob is looking forward to his day in court and he�s confident when all the facts come out he's going to be shown to have not been guilty of any crime.�

November 2007: Regina Daniels, another longtime Kelly spokesperson and wife of Chicago record store owner George Daniels, issues a press release saying that she has severed all ties with Kelly because �a line has been crossed.�

August 21, 2007: With the trial date approaching, Judge Gaughan rules that jurors and the public will see the whole video tape in court. The prosecution and the defense had both sought to limit viewings of the tape.

Sept. 4, 2007: Without offering any explanation, Judge Gaughan postpones the trial until 2008. Sources tell the Sun-Times the latest delay is over wrangling between the prosecution and the defense about expert witnesses.

Dec. 21, 2007: Although he is angry that Kelly has embarked on a national concert tour without obtaining the court�s permission�and that his tour bus was stopped by police for going 101 mph in Utah�Judge Gaughan decides that he will not throw the singer in jail and revoke his bond, though he does warn him: �You are a role model, whether you like it or not. People pay attention to your conduct and emulate it. Be careful.� The judge finally sets a date for the case to go to trial: May 9, 2008.

Jan. 2, 2008: Up and coming R&B singer Ne-Yo sues R. Kelly, claiming he was fired from the Double Up tour because he was better than Kelly.

Jan. 14, 2008: Judge Gaughan again rejects the prosecution�s request to have a doctor testify about why the girl in the case would deny that she was the victim.

Feb. 15, 2008: During an interview with a Los Angeles radio station, George Daniels explains the reasons that he and his wife, Kelly spokeswoman Regina, split from the star: �He crossed the line with my [21-year-old] daughter. It didn�t get to the extreme of that [sex tape] video or else I wouldn�t be here, if you know what I�m talking about� The reason that I�m talking abut this, it�s not just for me, it�s not for my wife, it�s not for my daughter, but it�s for other fathers and mothers because it doesn�t have to be a superstar, it could be the dude on the corner. There are guys who sit around and give your child a couple of bucks to go to school and then wait until they get a little older, then they set that trap.�

The other Kelly spokesman, Allen Mayer, says: �It�s hard to take seriously the moral outrage expressed by George and Regina Daniels over R. Kelly�s relationship with Mr. Daniels� adult daughter, Maxine. The fact is that they had no problem with the relationship�indeed, they encouraged it � while Ms. Daniels was on Mr. Kelly�s payroll.�

March 12, 2008: The prosecution tells the court it wants to add two new witnesses to its case. Judge Gaughan calls the request �very extraordinary,� but says he will allow the defense team to take the witness� depositions � though he will not accept further delays to the May 9 trial date.

April 11, 2008: Judge Gaughan holds a closed hearing to deal with �motions that were filed under seal.� It is one of many sessions over the last six years that have taken place in chambers, away from public scrutiny.

April 22, 2008: The Sun-Times, the Tribune, the Associated Press and Chicago Public Radio petition Judge Gaughan to make all Kelly-related court records public, release transcripts of several secret hearings and lift the gag order on the attorneys. The motion is also filed before the Illinois Supreme Court.

April 29, 2008: Kelly, now 41, releases a new single, �Hair Braider,� with a video that shows several women tending to his hairdo while he sips on liquor and smokes a cigar. His next album, �12 Play: Fourth Quarter,� is scheduled for release sometime in the summer, in the midst of his trial.

May 4, 2008: The Sun-Times reports that a woman is set to testify that she had a three-way sexual encounter with Kelly and the allegedly underage girl seen in the video at the heart of the case.

May 6, 2008: In a terse, two-sentence ruling, the Supreme Court denies Chicago news outlets� motion for a supervisory order to unseal court documents and proceedings in the Kelly case. The court gives no explanation.

May 7, 2008: Citing �the torrent of publicity over the weekend, specifically the front page of the Sun-Times,� Marc Martin, one of Kelly�s defense attorneys, asks the court to delay the trial because it will be hard to find jurors whose objectivity has not been tainted by the press coverage.

May 8, 2008: In the final court hearing before the scheduled start of the trial, Judge Gaughan gives every indication that he intends to proceed with jury selection on May 9. �We�re starting a pretty big trial tomorrow,� he says. �It looks like we are.�

Compiled from reports by Jim DeRogatis, Abdon M. Pallasch, Mary Mitchell, Eric Herman, StefanoEsposito, Dave Hoekstra and Bill Zwecker