R Kelly: Text messages improve my reading

R. Kelly says text messages have really improved his ability to read after feeling like an "alien" when he didn't know which words were which during his younger years.

R Kelly: Text messages improve my reading

R. Kelly's reading has improved "a lot" thanks to text messages.

The 49-year-old singer couldn't read when he was younger and still struggles at times nowadays, and while he is grateful to practice with messages on his mobile phone, he prefers to send a voice-text - an audio message composed by the spoken word - than type a note himself.

He said: "Since my daughter showed me voice texts on my phone, I've gotten a lot better.

"I'm not an A-student, I'm not even a B-student, but I've gotten a lot better with the reading because of texts. And I can voice-text and say whatever I want to people. And then they text me back and I take my time and I can read through it."

The 'I Believe I Can Fly' hitmaker - whose real name is Robert Kelly - admits he felt like an "alien" when he was younger because of his inability to read, but when he tried to figure out which words were which he would get "really sleepy".

Speaking to GQ magazine, he added: "Other kids could read, other kids could write, other kids could spell, they could do math.

"I felt like an alien, I felt like an outcast. I felt like, 'What is going to happen to me?' My mother couldn't answer it. My stepfather wasn't really interested in it one way or another. And my brothers and sisters were so young at the time they wouldn't do nothing but tease me about it. I was the 'dummy': 'How you gon' do this? You can't even read!'

"I would always hear scrambled music, like an orchestra going off that didn't know what they was doing. It was so confusing. It was, like, violin's playing 'I Believe I Can Fly,' the bass is playing 'When a Woman's Fed Up,' the guitar's playing 'Bump N' Grind,' the piano's playing a gospel song. And then I would end up getting really sleepy and tired."

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