Drea Kelly has three children with her ex-husband R. Kelly. She is currently embroiled in a child support battle with the singer, as he reportedly owes them $32 in interest for back payments. Drea and her kids have relocated to Atlanta while the singer deals with his legal issues, and they will star on the latest season of Growing Up Hip Hop: Atlanta.
Drea’s children are Joann, Jay, and Robert, Jr. The eldest, Joann, goes by the stage name Buku Abi, and is currently following in her father’s footsteps by pursuing a music career. According to WE, her career will be a major subplot throughout the season. “Drea’s sweet daughter Buku takes a step out on her own, trying to establish herself as a vocal artist in her own right away from the long shadow of her criminal father,” reads the official synopsis.
Drea Kelly Has 3 Kids with Her Ex: Joann, Jay & Robert, Jr.
Buku has also been open about her father’s legal troubles, and the recent documentary Surviving R. Kelly, which detailed the way he reportedly abused underage women. “I just want to say a few things,” she wrote in a lengthy Instagram post. “I pray for all the families and women who have been affected by my father’s actions. Trust, I have been deeply affected by all of this. However, it has been very difficult to process it all. Let alone gather all the right words to express everything I feel.
“Anyone that knows me personally or has been following me through out the years knows that i do not have a relationship with my father,” Buku added. “Nor do I speak on him or on his behalf. I am also not fond of dealing with my personal issues or personal life experience through social media but I feel that things are starting to get out of hand.”
Joann Is Pursuing a Music Career Under the Name Buku Abi
Drea’s middle child, Jay, came out as transgender in 2014. During an interview with In Touch Weekly, he said that his father was unaware of his decision, but that his mother was completely supportive. “[My mom] was like, ‘Baby, you know I love you if you were bi, gay, [lesbian], you name it and I would still love you so much,’” he recalled. “She was very proud of me, I was like, ‘Thank you mum for accepting the fact that I’m a transgender.’”
“And same with my sister,” he added. “She told me that she was proud of me, and respects me by calling me handsome and calling me her little brother now, and I love her for that, so you know it was great for me.” Jay, born Jaya, said that he’s known that he’s wanted to identify as a man since he was “6 or 7 years old.”