R. Kelly has announced he'll release "Black Panties," his 12th studio album, on Nov. 11. At a listening session in Atlanta over the weekend, a sweat-drenched Kellz told attendees the album is the product of his artistic tenacity.
"I took my story and what I've been through and I channeled it," he said. "If you can take tragedy and turn it into triumph, that's when you've reached the zenith of a true champion. Don't mean to be too deep but this shit is real. I didn't run under a rock and go over here or there. I stayed focused. And I'm more focused then ever."
"Black Panies" follows up 2012's "Write Me Back," which debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard 200. In July he released the new album's first single, "My Story," featuring an assist from rapper 2 Chainz.
At the listening session, the soul-R&B icon said the album doesn't shy away from any elements of his crazy life.
"My story is all of this: sex, money, broke, women, clubs, and even church. It's all of those things mixed up into one," he said. "I'm not afraid of it, I understand it is the nature of life. This gift I have is a beautiful disease and I glad I got it."