R. Kelly “got frustrated” without his voice.

The 46-year-old R&B singer underwent emergency throat surgery in July 2011 and the star was upset for most of his recovery.

Kelly admits he was disturbed by the silence because he just wanted to sing.

"I got frustrated, first of all, because I didn't have my voice. Trying to play it off like I do, but I really didn't and that became frustrating because at the end of the day, you have to prove either you do or you don't," he told MTV News, noting that his new single Shut Up was inspired by the forced vocal rest.

Kelly was also shaken up by how some members of his trusted entourage started treating him while he was recuperating.

According to the musician many of his closest friends and peers wrote him off as washed up.

"I got frustrated with that, along with not getting the encouragement I needed and inspiration I needed from the people around me," he recalled.

"Instead, people started falling off, couldn't get nobody on the phone or you start hearing rumours ... 'he ain't got it no more, he got old' and this, that and the other.”

But the Grammy Award-winning songwriter eventually saw his ailment as an opportunity.

He now looks back at the tough times as a crucial period of growth.

"I'm the type of person that can take tragedy and turn it into triumph and that's what I did," he said. "The surgery and the whole vocal cord thing was probably the best thing that ever happened to me, because look at me now."

R. Kelly’s twelfth solo studio album Black Panties was released on December 6 to much success.

In just a couple of weeks the record has reached number four on the US Billboard 200 chart.