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R. Kelly owes more than $5 million in unpaid taxes, IRS says

R. Kelly’s OlympiFields mansion.  |  File Photo

R. Kelly’s Olympia Fields mansion. | File Photo

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Updated: July 16, 2012 6:28AM

He’s known as the “King of R&B.”

But R. Kelly owes the Internal Revenue Service a king’s ransom of nearly $5 million in unpaid taxes, according to documents held by the Cook County Recorder of Deeds.

The South Side crooner may be one of the best-selling and highest-earning recording artists of all time, but this isn’t the first sign he’s in financial difficulty.

Last year his 20,000-square-foot Olympia Fields mansion went into foreclosure, with J.P. Morgan Chase Bank claiming Kelly owed it more than $2.9 million.

Now documents recently filed by the IRS state that Kelly owes taxes going back as far as 2005.

Though Kelly has made some efforts to get up to date, paying $2.6 million in back taxes in 2008 and more than $1 million in back taxes last year, he still owes the federal government more than $4.8 million, the records state.

He owes $1.47 million for 2005, $710,000 for 2006, $380,000 for 2007, $1.12 million for 2008, $170,000 for 2009 and $990,000 for 2010, the records state.

Kelly spokesman Allan Mayer didn’t immediately return calls seeking comment Thursday. But speaking after Kelly’s foreclosure troubles emerged last summer, he insisted the star didn’t have any serious money problems.

The Maros Lane mansion in the south suburb was placed on the market for $1.6 million in December.

Kelly, who beat a child pornography case at trial in 2008, continues to win plaudits and earn money for his sexually charged music. His old-school R&B album, “Love Letter,” got a Grammy nomination last year.

After recovering from throat surgery, he’s due to release the follow-up, his 11th album, next month. He still performs regularly.

In March, the IFC network announced it had greenlit more episodes of Kelly’s bizarre cultural landmark, “Trapped in the Closet,” an urban operetta about tangled and twisted sexual exploits.

Contributing: Steve Warmbir

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