R. Kelly’s performance on the US version of ‘The X Factor’ was a “wake up call”.

The ‘I Believe I Can Fly’ hitmaker appeared on the TV talent show this week, and the level of talent from the contestants made him realise what he is up against from the younger generation.

He told RollingStone.com: “I felt like it was my first talent show because you’re always under the light, the camera’s on you and you know you gotta look good, you gotta sound good, and you just gotta be just good. It was a wake-up call for me, as well.

“It reminds me that every day there’s a new talent, there’s somebody else that can do it, there’s somebody else that can sing and has that voice the world is waiting to hear.”

Kelly has recently announced his return to singing after undergoing surgery to have an abscess on one of his tonsils drained earlier this year and he is also working on his next album, which will be called ‘Black Panties’, and will have a markedly different style to his last record, ‘Love Letter’, seeing him return to the mid 90s sound which initially made him famous.

He explained: “I just did the whole ‘Love Letter’ joint and everybody thinking, ‘Well, that’s the direction he going now. No, that was a moment in time. Now this ‘Black Panties’ album, I think it’ll be an R&B-like thriller album, if you will.”