Although he may face numerous child pornography charges, R&B singer R. Kelly faces no shortage of popularity among the public, as he was one of Wednesday’s big winners at the Billboard Music Awards, honoring the year’s top-selling artists.
Kelly (whose given name is Robert) collected four prizes, as did Destiny’s Child singer Beyonce Knowles, and both entertainers performed at the event, Reuters reports.
Kelly was named Hot 100 producer, R&B producer, Hot 100 songwriter and R&B songwriter. Beyonce’s awards were for Hot 100 female artist, new R&B artist, new female artist and a special Hot 100 award for having accomplished this year’s longest stint in the No. 1 position.
Three prizes each went to Canadian country-pop singer Shania Twain, rapper 50 Cent and hip-hop trio Lil Jon & the Eastside Boyz during the ceremony at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena. Evanescence, No Doubt, Foo Fighters and Pink also performed.
This has been quite a year for Kelly, 36. He currently has a Top 10 single, while his album “Chocolate Factory,” debuted at No. 1 earlier this year. On Dec. 4 he also picked up two Grammy nominations.
As for Kelly’s legal woes, in June 2002, he was charged with 21 counts of child pornography in his Chicago hometown based on a widely circulated videotape depicting a man having sex with a girl police said was 14 at the time.
Last January, he was charged with 12 counts of possession of child pornography in Miami after police said they found digital images of an underage girl.
Kelly, 36, has denied any guilt, claiming that the video was digitally altered and the photos depict lookalikes.