By Brendan Pierson
NEW YORK (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)