Remember last fall’s hullabaloo surrounding R. Kelly’s memoir Soulacoaster: The Diary of Me? First announced back in December 2009, Kelly’s book was originally slated for last November 15, but then mysteriously disappeared from online retailers a few days earlier, only to be pushed back to spring 2012.
That deadline may’ve come and gone, but we can officially confirm that the book finally has a release date and it’s soon–next Thursday, June 28, to coincide with Kell’s upcoming full-length Write Me Back. If you’re one of the unfortunate few who can’t make it to the R. Kelly cruise, Robert Sylvester will be signing Soulacoaster copies at the Tribeca Barnes and Noble, from six to eight pm, that same day. We will not be able to shut up about this book for months.
The press release going out tomorrow is below.
WHO IS R. KELLY? DISCOVER THE MAN BEHIND THE MUSIC IN SOULACOASTER: THE DIARY OF ME
Beyond the chart-topping hits and the controversial headlines, Kelly lays bare the true life story of a complex soul and a musical genius
4-City Book Tour Kicks Off Next Thursday, June 28 in New York City
New York, NY (June 21, 2012) — In his own words, music icon Robert Sylvester Kelly takes readers on an emotion-packed “soulacoaster” ride that explores the untold story of his frequently sensationalized but rarely humanized life. With searing honesty, Kelly delivers a fascinating portrait of a gifted soul trapped in the conflicting realities of “bump and grind” sexuality and soul-stirring “I Believe I Can Fly” spirit. Kelly’s spectacular rise from street performer to superstar who has sold more than 35 million records worldwide was derailed when he plummeted into a six-year legal ordeal that nearly ruined his life and finances–until in 2008 he was found innocent of all criminal charges.
In Kelly’s most intimate and revealing project to date, Soulacoaster: The Diary of Me (SmileyBooks, June 28, 2012, ISBN: 978-1401928353, $29.95, Hardcover), a memoir written in three acts, employs the same dramatic plot twists and turns that mesmerized fans of Kelly’s hip-hopera Trapped in the Closet.
“In the tradition of legendary soul singer/songwriters, R. Kelly has defined his own unique style of genius while influencing an entire generation of singers,” says chairman and CEO of Epic Records, Antonio “L.A.” Reid. “He is the pure essence of soul, and in Soulacoaster you’ll discover the untold story behind every song.”
Soulacoaster “Act I: Back in the Day” chronicles the musician’s early life on Chicago’s south side with Joann Kelly, his beloved soul-singer mother. Kelly reveals the secret pain of too early, too often sexual trauma that impacted him as a child. Plagued by a crippling learning disorder that left him unable to read or write even to this very day, young Kelly compensated for his deficiencies by perfecting his basketball skills until his dream was nearly destroyed by random gun violence. When his music teacher/mentor Lena McLin prophesied that music, not basketball, would be his destiny, he wanted to believe her.
In “Act II: Getting Busy,” Kelly evolves from a Chicago drop-out to a struggling LA musician homeless on the sands of Venice Beach while wrestling with the hard-to-resist sexual and financial temptations that accompany sudden stardom. Kelly’s musical genius shines as he describes the genesis of hits like “12-Play,” “Bump N’ Grind,” “I’m Your Angel,” and “We Thuggin.” When Kelly writes and produces for his musical hero Michael Jackson, readers learn how initially he was not credited as writer on “You Are Not Alone,” and what happened when he pushed back.
“R. Kelly is R&B,” says actor and singer Tyrese Gibson. “In Soulacoaster you’ll discover that his genius rests in his ability to constantly push the musical envelope as he explores the intimate aspects of love and lust, pain and joy, defeat and triumph.”
“Act III: In the Ring,” Kelly boxes against real-life challenges including: the diss-respect of colleagues, the painful end of his 12-year marriage, and the pepper spray truth behind the “Best of Both Worlds Tour.” During this time, Kelly faced down his detractors orchestrating the most prolific period of his career at The Chocolate Factory- even as his legal team advised him to slow down, hide out, and cop a plea.
By 2008, Kelly had won the hardest fight of his life and in 2010, he re-emerged on the world stage when his inspirational anthem “Sign of Victory” opened the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
The beautifully designed Soulacoaster includes more than 130 color photographs that offer a truly dimensional portrait of Robert Kelly, the mama’s boy, the brother, the artist, the father, and most of all, Robert the man.
“In the end, I am saved by the music,” says Kelly. “Like Trapped in the Closet, life for me is full of cliff-hangers. I have no idea what twist or turn the rollercoaster that is my life will take. I am saved by God’s gift of love. If through my words and music I can pass on that gift to the readers, I am the happiest man on earth.”
Join R. Kelly on the Soulacoaster Tour in the following 4 cities:
New York: Thursday, June 28
Washington, DC: Saturday, June 30
Chicago: July 14
Los Angeles: August 10
On June 26, Kelly will release Write Me Back, a dynamic twelve-song CD collection available in stores and on Amazon.
Pre-orders for The Limited Collector’s Editions of Soulacoaster: The Diary of Me, created especially for Kelly’s devoted fans, will go on sale today. The Limited Editions offer special features including an original poster, a VIP all-access pass, lyric cards, an enhanced CD, and more, and are available only at www.rkellysoulacoaster.com.
For more information about Soulacoaster: The Diary of Me, visit: www.rkellysoulacoaster.com.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on June 21, 2012