R Kelly has been charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, nine of which involve underage girls.
The R&B star, whose real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, has faced decades of claims of sexual abuse against women and teenagers below the age of consent.
He has never been convicted and has previously denied other allegations.
An arrest warrant has been issued for the 52-year-old. His lawyer says he is “shell-shocked” and will turn himself in on Friday.
Steve Greenberg told The Associated Press that his client was “extraordinarily disappointed and depressed” by the charges and maintains his innocence.
The indictment come just weeks after a documentary series called Surviving R Kelly aired.
It contained decades of allegations of abuse against R Kelly, from many women, including the singer’s ex-wife.
What are the allegations?
Prosecutors in Cook County announced the aggravated criminal sexual abuse charges, involving four victims, on Friday.
They say they took place between 1998 and 2010. Documents say at least three of the victims were aged between 13 and 16 at the time of their reported assaults.
Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said he could face a maximum of seven years in prison for each count.
A no-bail arrest warrant has been issued for Kelly.
Mr Greenberg, his lawyer, told AP that he had offered to sit down with prosecutors before the filing to describe “why these charges are baseless” but said they refused.