He suffers from severe dyslexia which means he has difficulty reading and writing but he can see musical notes in his head
By Frederick H. Lowe
Before singer and prolific songwriter R. Kelly exploded in anger on national television, sending CBS’s ratings soaring and padding interviewer Gayle King’s bank account, there is a backstory of early disturbing influences and experiences that shaped him.
Kelly grew up in a household of women, including aunts and friends of his aunts, who often walked through the house only partially clothed.
At eight, he witnessed one of his female relatives engaged in sex with a male companion. While still prepubescent, he was sexually abused by an older black woman. The abuse continued for years.
In addition to his having been traumatized in these ways, he also struggled with severe dyslexia, which made it difficult, if not impossible, for him to read, write and spell, yet he could always see musical notes in his head, a sign of special abilities, and some might say, genius.
When he was growing up, his inability to learn to read and write made him fearful of school. “Every time my teacher called on me to read, my heart sank,” Kelly wrote in his autobiography “SOULA COASTER: The Diary of Me” which he co-wrote
with David Ritz, author of biographies and writer of liner notes for Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin and others.
When Kelly somehow got into high school, he’d skip class and hide out in the music room where he taught himself to play the piano. As a songwriter, he is brilliant. He’s written for Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, and Mary J. Blige and the many others.
He hears melodies in his head all day long, according to his autobiography. “When he tried to read, the words sometimes would jump off the page and turn into musical notes. He didn’t tell anyone because he figured that he was ‘sick’ or ‘mentally retarded.’
Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington addressed the subject of older black women sexually abusing black boys in the 2002 feature film “Antwone Fisher,” which he starred. Washington also directed the movie. The film brought to light the fact that boys, as well as girls, are sexually abused and not just by men but by women.
We are often led to believe that it’s only black men who sexually abuse black girls. The majority of cases may involve black men abusing black girls but there are instances where older black women sexually abuse black boys.
After reading about R. Kelly’s early background, I can understand, but not condone, why the thought of pursuing young girls was considered normal behavior because he was a victim of childhood sexual abuse.