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Despite the controversy that has dogged his career, R. Kelly remains one of the greatest R&B artists of the modern era. Unsurprisingly, the Chicago-born musician is working on new music and heading out on tour this summer.

His 14th studio album, Buffet, should be out this year. While we don’t know yet if it will be as salacious as his last, Black Panties, we do know that Trey Songz and other sexually explicit R&B singers should probably be paying him royalties. But lest anyone think Kelly is one-dimensional, pick up his Love Letters CD released a few years ago, and recognize that if nothing else, the man is versatile.

He says his new CD will be “All that you can hear.”

Kelly has recently taken up residence in Atlanta, but remains a Chicago native to the end and still has a home there. In fact, that’s where he’s currently holed up in the studio.

“The music is in me, so it’s all good,” says Kelly.

As far as his hits are concerned even Kelly has lost track. So how many times does he go to to the mailbox to pick up a royalty check?

“I’ve never been to a mailbox,” he says.

As far as rumors that Kelly is broke, despite his hits, he says “I should have said ‘yes’ because I’m tired of people asking me for money.”  (Despite reports, he says he’s doing just fine.)

After almost 30 years in the business, Kelly says every day he’s remained in the game has been a good day.

“Every day, every second, every hour, of those years put me where I’m at now. My character is strong, I feel good, better than I ever have before.”

Can Kelly remember where he was when he first heard his song on the radio? He knows the song was “She’s Got That Vibe,” but he doesn’t remember exactly when. “I think someone woke me up to tell me it was on the radio.”

Kelly did have some throat problems a few years back but he said he was good a month or two later after he was treated and never missed a step or note on tour, except for one night.

“I’m in tip-top shape now. I was on tour every night. I didn’t get a break. I was doing all of my hits and I’d get down to that one song [“When A Woman Loves” ] and you gotta hit that note. You gotta hit that. It was a hard thing to do every night,” he says. “It just got the best of me on that last night.”

Longtime NBA fan and amateur baller himself, now that Chicago’s out of it, Kelly can make his NBA Finals prediction: Golden State.

“I love LeBron’s game and we all know what LeBron can do, but I got Curry and them,” he says.

Check out R. Kelly’s summer tour dates and buy tickets HERE. 

Click the link above to hear the entire interview.

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