R Kelly has asked to be released from jail due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The singer's legal team have filed documents with federal judges in both Chicago - where he is being held in the city's Metropolitan Correctional Center while awaiting trial for various sex crimes - and Brooklyn asking for him to be allowed to stay with his girlfriend Joycelyn Savage.

Kelly is facing a number of charges in Brooklyn, including bribery and racketeering, but has appeared for New York hearings via video link as he has a fear of flying, a quirky fact given he's best know for singing 'I Believe I Can Fly'.

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He needs approval from both Brooklyn federal Judge Ann Donnelly and Chicago federal Judge Harry Leinenweber to have his request granted.

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According to the New York Post, the 53-year-old's attorney argued his client is vulnerable to contracting Covid-19 because of his age and the fact he recently underwent surgery on a hernia.

Although 10 inmates in the US have tested positive for coronavirus, none were housed in the Chicago prison.

However, the lawyer insisted there are inmates in the facility who have been quarantined with flu-like symptoms.

He wrote: "Requiring people to reside in a custodial jail setting is tantamount to making them drink poison."

Kelly - who will face trial in October - is the latest famous star behind bars to ask to be released.

Both disgraced comic Bill Crosby - who was sentenced to prison in September 2018 after being found guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault - and Tekashi 6ix9ine, who was jailed last December, have requested to be placed under house arrest due to the pandemic.

Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website