Buku Abi, Joann Kelly
Source: Michael Tullberg / Getty

R. Kelly’s career is not the only one that has been negatively affected by his crimes. His daughter Joann Kelly, who goes by Buku Abi, has had a hard time maintaining her own music career.

In an interview on Atlanta’s Majic 107.5, she said record deals have been snatched away from her once people find out who her father is.

“Absolutely, simply based off of my last name,” she said about losing opportunities.

Since music is her passion, not being able to follow her dream is heartbreaking.

“I love music. I’m a singer, songwriter,” she continued. “I love music. I’ve been doing music since I was 13 years old. That’s the first time I ever wrote a song.”

Joann Kelly, who also starred on Growing Up Hip Hop: Atlanta, said she has been trying to break into the music business from age 13 to 24.

“Trying to get into the Industry and all those years, it’s either been, you’re getting it because of who your dad is or you’re not getting it because of who your dad is. I’ve been this close to a record deal, and when they found out who I was, it got swiped away.”

R. Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison after being convicted of racketeering and violating the Mann Act. He still has to face child pornography and sexual abuse charges in Minnesota and Illinois. Joann Kelly is no longer in contact with him.

The 24-year-old told the Associated Press in 2019 that she was facing a lot of difficulties as an upcoming singer because of her father’s crimes but she wasn’t going to stop pursuing her career.

“I definitely run across challenges — people wanting to work with me to spite him or people not wanting to work with me just because of who he is,” she said. “I’ve definitely come across turmoil … being judged for really no reason at all, just based off associations. I’ve been pushing through it. Me making the art, it saved my life so there’s nothing really that would be able to stop me.”

Kelly released her projects Cheers to You, Shadow in 2020 and Don’t Call Me in 2019.

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