R+B star R Kelly has struggled with literacy all his life - thanks to his nomadic lifestyle as a child.

For a number of years, rumours have circulated that the IGNITION singer had problems reading, and a subsequent CHICAGO SUN-TIMES article was written, quoting "friends and former associates" as saying Kelly could barely read or do simple arithmetic.

And now Kelly himself has spoken out about his troubles, telling VIBE magazine, "For the record, R Kelly is not the best at reading and writing. I don't have no shame in saying that.

"I went through a lot of stuff coming up as a kid. We were in and out of school, moving all the time, and I never got the fair chance to get that full attention when it came to school.

"Sometimes I don't feel my spelling is correct like everybody else's. I'm a little slower when it comes to things like that.

"My talent has overwhelmed me - it automatically beats the pen and pad to the punch. Lyrics come just like that, out of nowhere. God blessed me with a talent I don't see anybody else with."

04/05/2004 09:07