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R. Kelly's No. 1 album may be his last

EW.com tells you why the R&B star’s contemplating retirement. Plus, the week’s top 10

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R. Kelly

by Craig Seymour

R&B crooner R. Kelly debuts at No. 1 this week on the Billboard album chart by selling 543,000 copies of his latest, ”TP-2.com,” a Web friendly sequel to his racy smash ’93 album ”12 Play.” ”All of my fans and even people on the street have been haunting me to do another ’12 Play’ album,” Kelly tells EW.com. ”I just decided it’s time.”

But the singer says this new chart topper may be his final release; he’s tired of being criticized for writing explicit lyrics. ”They say, ‘He’s raunchy! He’s the devil!’ And I think that’s bullshit,” says the man behind such tunes as ”The Greatest Sex,” ”Like a Real Freak,” and ”Feelin’ on Yo Booty.” ”It’s a lot of stress dealing with the things I deal with, trying to be me, and trying to be creative. This might be my last R. Kelly album.”

But there’s at least one industry observer who thinks he has good reason to stick around. ”People wait for R. Kelly records to come out,” says Violet Brown, urban music buyer at Wherehouse Music. ”They like [the explicit lyrics] and think that he writes great songs. He always has a hot single.” At the moment, ”I Wish” is the No. 1 R&B radio song in the country.

In other chart news, the Atlanta based rap duo Outkast remain at No. 2, while last week’s top seller, Jay-Z, drops below Limp Bizkit (No. 3) to take the fourth spot. Veteran rockers U2 fall two places to No. 5 with ”All That You Can’t Leave Behind.” Nelly lands at No. 6, and the ”Charlie’s Angels” soundtrack, boosted by the hit film, kicks up to No. 7. Blink 182’s live set, ”The Mark, Tom, and Travis Show,” debuts at No. 8, Boston’s Godsmack fall four places to No. 9, and Creed slip to No. 10. ”Can you take me higher?” Not this week, dude.