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R. Kelly kicks off busy schedule on Today Show

11-20-03 StellFoster columist. Phoby Jim Frost Sun-Times.

11-20-03 Stella Foster, columist. Photo by Jim Frost Sun-Times.

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Updated: July 21, 2012 6:10AM



R. KELLY Update: Soulful R&B artist R. Kelly (“Love Letter”) is busy. “The Trapped In the Closet” composer will make a guest appearance June 29 on NBC’s “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.” He will drop his latest album, “Write Me Back,” on June 26 and his new memoir, Soulacoaster: The Diary of Me, is scheduled to be in stores June 28.

There will be a book launching party for him June 27 in New York, and Kelly is confirmed to appear June 28 on the NBC “Today Show” with Kathie Lee and Hoda. That same evening, he will have a book signing at Barnes & Noble in Tribeca. And he will do the same in Chi Town July 14.

But his “Write Me Back Tour” will NOT kick off until sometime this fall. After all, he has a lot going on, including allegedly owing $4.8 million in back taxes. Stay tuned!

ACCORDING TO my sources, the “Chicago Runway To Win” fashion benefit fund-raiser, for President Barack Obama June 12 at Harpo Studios, raised more than $200,000.

The evening was spearheaded by Vogue mag’s powerhouse Anna Wintour and featured fashions by some of the world’s top designers including Vera Wang, Marc Jacobs and Tory Burch. The legendary model Iman, whose merchandising empire earns her millions and who is married to rocker David Bowie, was to be a co-host, but she had to cancel due to a foot injury. The fashionable crowd included Penny Pritzker, Nora Daley Conroy, Maureen Schulman, Julie Latsko, Chanel Coney, Grace Tsao-Wu (a co-host), Linda Johnson Rice, Dr. Anita Blanchard, Mellody Hobson and Carrie Sacks AROUND TOWN:

The Bears’ Brian Urlacher and galpal Jenny McCarthy recently dined at Volare .... The Tigers’ Justin Verlander chilled at Rosebud Steakhouse ... The Cubs’ Blake Parker and Reed Johnson ate at Mastros ....Former Bear Jim Covert lunched with former coach Mike Ditka at Ditka’s restaurant.

“STOPPIN’ the Hits,” a discussion about gun violence hosted by WGCI, V103, 1390AM and WVON, is 6 p.m. Wednesday at Clear Channel Media and guests include Police Supt. Garry McCarthy, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Ramonski Luv, Tony Sculfield and Matt McGill.

COUPLING: Former Dallas Cowboy Deion Sanders, who has been going through a nasty divorce battle with his wife, Pilar, mother of his three children, is hot and heavy with TV/movie producer Tracey Edmonds, former wife of singer Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds. They are also developing a reality show based on Sanders.

BIRTHDAYING: Actor John Mahoney.



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