R. Kelly Makes History at Soul Train Awards with 21 Career Nominations (Video)
Esteemed author, voice of a generation, and occasional one-man R&B hit factory R. Kelly has already made history at this year's "Soul Train Awards," and the ceremony hasn't even begun yet.
The writer of the memoir, "Soulacoaster: The Diary of Me," received two nominations for this year's "Soul Train Awards," making him the most nominated act ever in the award show's history. "Ain't nothing wrong with a lil' bump n grind ..." Apparently.
Kelly is up for the Ashford & Simpson songwriter's award and album of the year, bringing his career total to 21 nominations. Usher leads this year's awards with five nominations. Estelle, Nas, Trey Songz and John Legend are also multiple nominees.
Whitney Houston is nominated for best gospel inspirational performance and Amy Winehouse is nominated for best international performance. New Edition will receive a lifetime achievement award.
The self-proclaimed Pied Piper of R&B said recently fans needn't worry -- he isn't going to abandon the explicit music that helped make him famous.
"Absolutely not, and I tell people all the time man," Kelly said in a phone interview with Austin360. "Make no mistake about it, R. Kelly is not going anywhere, it's just that R. Kelly has such a unique talent, and I've been blessed to be able to do all type of genres of music ... I'm exploring my gift right now."
Kelly's recent "Write Me Back" and 2010's "Love Letter" were a departure of sorts for the singer-songwriter, whose hits include classics like "Your Body's Callin'."
He described those acclaimed albums as a way of taking a break from his typical explicit material to try something new. "When you've done twenty-something years, man, of giving people what they want, and satisfying people - people like to say they're making babies off your music, they're doing all this - it makes me feel good, but at the same time, it makes me say, 'OK, now it's time to go and do something that's in me that I want to do and get out,'" he said.
He said his upcoming album will be on more familiar R. Kelly ground.
"The name of my next album is 'Black Panties' - that's my next '12 Play,'" he said, referring to his classic album filled with sexual material. "I'm going to have some fun on it."
Kelly also plans to bring his explicit nature on the road soon his upcoming "Single Ladies" North American tour, which kicks off Oct. 13 in Columbia, S.C., and runs through December. Kelly said he aims for it to be "one big giant 'Dating Game.'"
"We really want the single ladies up there, and where guys know there's single ladies, they're going to be in the mix, because they're looking for a woman," he said.
Kelly is also focusing on the next chapters in his "Trapped" musical soap opera. He's reportedly been filming in his native Chicago and promises new characters, more surprises and an explanation of what the mysterious "package" is.
The Soul Train Awards, hosted by Cedric the Entertainer, will be taped Nov. 8 at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. The show will air Nov. 25 on BET and Centric.
"Soulacoaster: The Diary of Me" by R. Kelly is in stores now.