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Keke Palmer

Palmer at the 2010 Kid's Choice Awards
Name Lauren Keyana Palmer
Born August 26, 1993
Genre R&B, pop
Occupation Actress, recording artist, fashion designer, activist, singer-songwriter
Activity 2004-present
Label Big Boss Entertainment (present)
Island Records (former)
Interscope Records (former)
Atlantic Records (former)

Lauren Keyana "Keke" Palmer (born August 26, 1993) is an American actress, singer-songwriter, dancer, fashion designer, voice actress, and activist. Palmer was born and raised in Harvey, Illinois, U.S. after Palmer's film debut, Palmer and her family moved to California to pursue her career.

In 2007, Keke released her debut album, So Uncool, on September 18, 2007, through Atlantic Records. The album failed to chart on any major charts, but did chart at 85 on the US R&B chart. The album was preceded by the lead single "Keep It Movin'".

Apart from her work in music, Palmer is also a recognized actress. She made her acting debut in the 2004 film Barbershop 2: Back in Business. In 2006, Palmer starred in Akeelah and the Bee and Madea's Family Reunion. The following year Palmer was featured in the film Cleaner. Palmer has also starred in films The Longshots (2008) and Shrink (2009). In 2012, Palmer starred in four films Joyful Noise, Winx Club: The Secret of the Lost Kingdom, Ice Age: Continental Drift and Virgin Mary. Besides films, Palmer has also starred in television films Knights of the South Bronx (2005) and Jump In! (2007) amongst others. Palmer also voiced Peaches in the Ice Age franchise. Palmer has also had numerous television roles including Nickelodeon sitcom True Jackson, VP. Palmer earned $20,000 per episode of True Jackson VP, which made her the fourth highest-paid child star on television. She was also a series regular on Scream Queens, a horror-camp television show, which debuted on the Fox Network on September 22, 2015. She also voiced a teen/young adult Peaches in the Ice Age franchise.

Life and career[edit | edit source]

1993-04: Early life and career beginnings[edit | edit source]

Palmer was born on August 26, 1993 in Harvey, Illinois. Her parents, Sharon and Larry Palmer, who met in drama

Keke Palmer and her sister, L'Oreal, at age 3 and age 8.

school, had both worked as professional actors before settling into full-time jobs. Her father works for a polyurethane company, and her mother is a high school teacher who works with children with mental disabilities. Palmer first sang in a church, but earned exposure performing at a stage show at a Chicago tourist destination.

In 2002, Palmer auditioned for a stage production of The Lion King at age nine. In 2004, she gained her first film role in Barbershop 2: Back in Business, in which she played the niece of American rapper and actress Queen Latifah. After starring in the film, Palmer and her family moved to California so Palmer could pursue a career in acting. "I knew opportunities would pop up if I just kept on trying," said Palmer. "I talked it over with my sister, and I didn't have anything to bribe her. I asked her, 'Please?' I knew she was excited about going to high school and I didn't want to take that away from her — but I really wanted my dream to come true. She said, 'You're really talented, and I think this could be good for you."

2005–07: So Uncool and major acting roles[edit | edit source]

Palmer then pursued a career in singing. In 2003, she participated in American Juniors, the American Idol spin-off series, but her audition scenes were edited out and the show was canceled that year. In 2005, Palmer signed a record deal with Atlantic Records. Her debut single, "All My Girlz", is featured in the Akeelah and the Bee soundtrack. In 2005 Palmer was featured in the television film Knights of the South Bronx as well as starring in three television programs: Second Time Around, ER and Keke & Jamal.

On November 18, 2006, she performed at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California for VH1's Save the Music Battle of the High School Marching Bands competition, marking her first ever stadium performance in front of thousands of people. In addition, as part of her contract with Disney, Palmer sang the songs "It's My Turn Now" and "Jumpin'" featured in the Disney Channel Original Movie Jump In!, in which she stars as Mary, the love interest to Corbin Bleu's character. In 2006, Palmer was featured in the music video for the Ludacris and Mary J. Blige song "Runaway Love", in which she starred as a pregnant 11-year-old girl. That same year, she recorded a song entitled "Tonight" which was featured as the first song in the end credits of Night at the Museum. Besides focusing on her music career Palmer had the lead role in the 2006 film Akeelah and the Bee, in which she played a bright 11-year-old who never makes errors on her spelling tests and doesn't really seem to fit in. Palmer also had a supporting role in the 2006 film Madea's Family Reunion.

In 2007, Palmer starred in many acting roles, she was a supporting act in the thriller Cleaner alongside Samuel L. Jackson and Eva Mendes. Palmer also had the lead role in the television film Jump In! along with American actor Corbin Bleu. Palmer also starred in two television programs Tyler Perry's House of Payne and Just Jordan.

2008–12: True Jackson, VP, mixtape and film projects[edit | edit source]

In 2008, Palmer began her starring role as the title character in Nickelodeon sitcom True Jackson, VP. Palmer

Palmer as "True"

also wrote and performed the theme song for the series. Palmer earned $25,000 per episode of True Jackson VP, which made her the fourth highest-paid child star on television. In July 2009, designer Jane Siskin created a Walmart fashion line inspired by True Jackson, VP, with all the designs being approved by Palmer. The fashion line consists of jumpers, modern dresses, knit tops, T-shirts, leggings, and more. As well as starring in True Jackson, VP, Palmer starred as the lead role in the 2008 film The Longshots, along with Ice Cube, becoming their second film together after Barbershop 2: Back in Business. In 2009, Palmer had a role in the film Shrink in which she played a patient named Jemma, who is a troubled high-school student, and is required to see a therapist by her school after cutting her hand by punching a mirror.

In 2010, Palmer was signed by the Chairman of Interscope Records, Jimmy Iovine and began working on an album. Between her MySpace and SayNow accounts, she has released several snippets of songs that were recorded for possible inclusion on her sophomore album. In a 2011 interview, Palmer stated the album is complete and is in the process of finalization. The self-titled album will be a mixture of R&B/Hip-Hop with pop undertones. Producers and writers for the album include Oak, Lil Eddie, Lucas Secon and others. Palmer stated that the album itself will be released in early 2012. In January 2011, Palmer released her first mixtape Awaken. The mixtape was officially released on January 10, 2011, for downloads on mixtape-downloading websites. The first and only single released from the mixtape "The One You Call" was released on iTunes in December 7, 2010, and was sent to Urban radio the same day. A music video was also released for the song. It premiered on Palmer's official Youtube channel and iTunes. In 2011, Palmer released a statement on her official website saying that she will be going on a US tour to promote her new music. She asked fans to vote for the states they wanted her to visit first. On September the winning states were announced. They were Texas, Florida, Minnesota, Georgia, Mississippi, Washington D.C., New York, and North Carolina, which is expected to start in 2012. That same year, she finished her show True Jackson, VP.

In 2012, Palmer starred alongside Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah in the film Joyful Noise, released in January 2012. She will produce and star in Rags, a Nickelodeon musical film, as well as voice characters in Ice Age: Continental Drift and Winx Club. Palmer has also recently been cast in the upcoming comedy Virgin Mary, opposite Abigail Breslin and [ Carter Jenkins

In 2012, Palmer spoke on the direction of the album saying "It's definitely a progression. What you would think I'd sound like at my age is what it is. It's a record I can say is truly my own. I was there from the beginning to the end. I was in full control of it, and it represents who I am." In July 2012, Palmer released the single "You Got Me" featuring Kevin McCall. The video for the single was released on July 11, 2012. Palmer has also announced a new single named "Dance Alone".

2013—Present: Focus on television[edit | edit source]

In 2013 Palmer portrayed Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas in the TLC VH1-biopic CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story. The film was completed in April 2013 and aired in October on the VH1 network, as well as being released in select theaters soon after. On May 16, Palmer released a video showing her recording and performing a cover of Alicia Keys song "If I Ain't Got You". She recently took part in a cover of "The Other Side" with Max Schneider. The video was released on YouTube in late June 2013 and is on iTunes without Derulo's part. In 2013, she also portrayed Elizabeth Royce Harwood in four episodes of 90210. Palmer starred in the horror film Animal. Produced by Drew Barrymore, the film co-stars Elizabeth Gilles, Jeremy Sumpter, and Eve and is scheduled for a limited release on June 17, 2014 in theatres and VOD. In addition to being in the film, Palmer also performed and wrote a song entitled "Animal", which is the main theme of the movie of the same name. Palmer was cast in a recurring role in the second season of Showtime's Masters of Sex. She played Coral, a nanny hired by the Masters to care for their new baby. Palmer is currently working with record producer and recording artist Bangladesh on her second studio album.

It was announced on April 21, 2014, that Palmer was hosting her own daytime talk show on BET called Just Keke (formerly The Keke Palmer Project). The show covered a variety of topics including fashion, pop culture, relationships, social issues, celebrity interviews, and much more. The show premiered on June 30, 2014 and it runs on Monday-Friday at 5pm ET/PT. In August 2014, it was announced that Palmer would be the first African-American to star as Cinderella on Broadway in September 2014. She performed her first show on September 9, 2014. Her last show was on a closing night of the show's run on January 4, 2015. In January 2015, she was cast in one of the leading roles in the Fox horror series Scream Queens. On August 21, 2015, Palmer announced her deal with Universal Music Group's Island Records. Her first single with the label, titled "I Don't Belong to You", was released on October 25, 2015. In 2015, it was announced that Palmer would join Grease: Live broadcast on Fox on January 31, 2016 as "Pink Lady" Marty Maraschino along with Vanessa Hudgens, Julianne Hough and Aaron Tveit. Rolling Stone wrote "Keke Palmer as the 'mature' Marty Maraschino was a standout, taking the classic character and completely making her her own. As Maraschino, Palmer was the coolest girl in school and could've easily been the leader of the Pink Ladies with her assertiveness, confidence and biting sense of humor." She released the single "Enemiez" featuring Jeremih for her forthcoming album in March 4, 2016 on iTunes. The single is her second with Island Records. It was sent to US rhythmic radio on March 22, 2016.

In 2016, her memoir was released, titled I Don't Belong to You: Quiet the Noise and Find Your Voice. On June 26, 2016, Palmer released a previously unreleased album she recorded when she was 16, now titled Waited to Exhale. The album was recorded during a dark period in her life when music executives didn't have much faith in her. On November 4, 2016, Palmer released her second extended play titled Lauren through Island Records. A 17-minute short film of the same name was released exclusively on Billboard's website. On April 21, 2017, Palmer released a new single "Wind Up" featuring Quavo of the group Migos. On September 13, 2017, it was announced that Palmer will join as a series regular in the third season of the MTV slasher television series Scream. She will star in the role of Kym.

Artistry[edit | edit source]

Musical style[edit | edit source]

Palmer's first studio album So Uncool was heavily influenced by contemporary R&B, being described as "bright,

Album cover for "So Uncool"

bouncy, and melodic enough to appeal to teens and pre-teens. Fans of dancey teen pop will want to give this auspicious debut a listen" by

Influences[edit | edit source]

Palmer was heavily influenced by American R&B singers Brandy, Aaliyah, Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey and girl group TLC. Among her urban influences, Palmer also cites pop artists Gwen Stefani and Avril Lavigne as influences.

I Don't Belong To You meaning[edit | edit source]

Following the release of her single "I Don't Belong To You" on October 25, 2015, Palmer took to interviewers to explain the meaning behind her song. "I don't belong to anyone else but myself. I have to make my own decisions. Happiness is defined by me. My sexuality is defined by me. And that can change and this can change and I can make it what I want to make it because I'm the one who makes that choice. So that's what 'I Don't Belong to You' is saying. This song feels right. It feels right and it's telling who I am. And it captures my identity." Following the interview, she shared with the world via social media that she now identifies as no label.

Philanthropy[edit | edit source]

Keke works with the Boys' and Girls' Clubs of the American charity Cool To Be Smart program, speaking to children about the importance of learning. She is also a supporter of Urban Farming and the Girl Scouts.[1]Palmer worked with the charity the YWCA & Saving Our Daughters because of the charities belief of the empowerment of women across. Palmer spoke on the charity saying “We are so excited about having such an extraordinary singer & actress as Keke Palmer, to address these issues of bullying & abuse worldwide with the YWCA USA and with both our missions” stated CEO of Saving Our Daughters, Curtis Benjamin. The YWCA has long advocated for empowerment, eliminating racism, eliminating violence and promoting dignity for women and girls,” says Gloria Lau, CEO of YWCA USA. “As advocates of promoting peace, it’s paramount that the YWCA USA takes this tremendous opportunity with Saving Our Daughters and Miss Keke Palmer to tackle the issue of bullying in our nation. Awareness of this type of violence needs to be heightened nationally,” Lau continued, “and we are committed to exposing its negative impact on our society and more specifically women, girls, and our daughters.”

In 2009, she attended the Stars and Strikes benefit for A Place Called Home. As of late 2010, Palmer, along with many other widely known celebrities, has been an avid representative for the "Saving Our Daughters" oath project, an anti-bullying campaign that allows people all over the world to take an oath to stop bullying.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Keke wears extensions.
  • Keke likes spicy food.
  • Keke likes singing more than acting.
  • One of Keke's favorite rappers is Kanye West.
  • Keke loves to eat.
  • Keke wants to work with Nicki Minaj.
  • Keke's first real date was on age 16.
  • She loves scary movies.
  • She is very goofy.
  • She wears glasses.
  • She can rap.
  • One of her best friends is Ashley Argota.
  • She is friends with Ariana Grande.

Filmography[edit | edit source]

Year Title Role Notes
2004 Barbershop 2: Back in Business Gina's Niece Credited as Lauren Keyana Palmer
2004 The Wool Cap Lou TV movie; Main role
2005 Knights of the South Bronx Kenya Russell TV movie
2006 Akeelah and the Bee Akeelah Anderson Lead role
2006 Madea's Family Reunion Nikki Grady Supporting role
2007 Cleaner Rose Cutler Supporting role
2007 Jump In! Mary Thomas TV movie; Main role
2008 The Longshots Jasmine Plummer Main role
2008 Unstable Fables: Tortoise vs. Hare Crystal Tortoise Voice
2009 Shrink Jemma Supporting role
2012 Joyful Noise[19] Olivia Hill Main role
2012 Winx Club: The Secret of the Lost Kingdom Aisha Voice; Main role
2012 Ice Age: Continental Drift Peaches Voice; Supporting role
2012 Rags Kadee Worth TV movie; Lead role, Producer
2013 Curdled Tara Short Film
2014 Imperial Dreams Lead Role
2014 Animal Alyssa Lead Role
2015 Brotherly Love Jackie Main Role
2016 Ice Age: Collision Course Peaches
2018 Tobacco Valley Diana Davis Post-production
2018 Pimp Wednesday Filming
Year Title Role Notes
2004 Cold Case Arlene Marion "The Letter" (Episode 13, Season 1)
2004 Strong Medicine Sarina "Race for a Cure" (Episode 7, Season 5)
2005 Second Time Around Sharlene "Big Bank, Little Bank" (Episode 11, Season 1)
2005 ER Janell Parkerson "The Show Must Go On" (Episode 22, Season 11)
2005 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Tasha Wright "Storm" (Episode 10, Season 7)
2005 Keke & Jamal Keke Stewart Unsold TV Pilot (Disney Channel)
2007 Tyler Perry's House of Payne Nikki "Bully and the Beast" (Episode 1, Season 2)
2007 Just Jordan C.C. Livingston "Fame Game" (Episode 17, Season 2)
2008–2011 True Jackson, VP True Jackson Lead role
2009 MTV Cribs Herself
2009–present Brainsurge Presenter
2010 The Cleveland Show Candice "Harder, Better, Faster, Browner" (Episode 22, Season 2)
2011 Degrassi Herself (Season 11 - Episodes 1 & 2; "Spring Fever") Mentioned as Keyana Palmer.
2011–2014 Winx Club Layla/Aisha Voice; Regular role
2012 Abducted: The Carlina White Story Abducted Carlina White Lead Role, Television Film
2013 Key & Peele Malia Obama's angel translator Episode: "Obama Shutdown"
2013 Full Circle Chan'dra Stevens Episode: "Jace & Chan'dra"

Episode: "Chan'dra & Cliff"

2013 90210 Elizabeth Royce Harwood Recurring Role (Season 5)
2013 CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas Television Film
2014 The Trip to Bountiful Thelma Television Film
2014 Single Ladies Herself Episode: "The Girl Most Likely To..."
2014 Grey Anatomy Cheryl Episode: "We Gotta Get Out of This Place"
2014 Family Guy Pam Episode: "Baby Got Black"
2014 Just Keke Herself/ Host Lead role
2014 Masters of Sex Coral Anders Recurring role (Season 2)
2015—2016 Scream Queens Zayday Williams Main role
2016 Grease: Live Marty Maraschino Television special
2016 Ice Age: The Great Egg-Scapade Peaches Voice; Television special
2016 Bubble Guppies Stylee Voice; Episode: "Guppy Style!"
2016 Raymond & Lane Keyana Episode: Lords of the Land
2016 Project Mc2 Nov8 Agent Episode: "Bye Bye Birdie"

Episode: "Mission Totally Possible"

2016 Real Husbands of Hollywood Herself Episode: "The Suitor"
2017—present Star Gigi Nixon Recurring (Season 2)
2017—present Berlin Station April Lewis Main role (Season 2—)
2018 Scream Kym Main role (Season 3)

Internet[edit | edit source]

Year Title Role Notes
2017 That's the Gag Keke Smith Lead role
2017 Good Mythical Morning Herself Guest Role, S 13 ep. 38

Stage[edit | edit source]

Year Title Role Notes
2014—15 Cinderella Eva Broadway musical

Discography[edit | edit source]

Concert tours[edit | edit source]


  • Footworkin' Concert Tour (2007)


  • Radio Disney Jingle Jam (with Mitchel Musso and Drew Seeley) (2007)

Awards and nominations[edit | edit source]

Year Award Category Motive Result
2005 Young Artist Award "Best Performance in TV Movie, Miniseries or Special - Leading Young Actress" The Wool Cap Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards "Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries" Nominated
NAACP Image Awards "Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special" Nominated
2006 Chicago Film Critics Association Awards "Most Promising Performer" Akeelah and the Bee Nominated
Black Movie Awards "Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role" Won
2007 Young Artist Award "Best Performance in a Feature Film - Leading Young Actress" Won
NAACP Image Awards "Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture" Won
Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards "Best Young Actress" Nominated
Black Reel Awards "Best Actress" Won
"Best Breakthrough Performance" Nominated
Young Artist Awards "Best Performance in a Feature Film - Supporting Young Actress" Cleaner Nominated
Black Reel Awards "Best Actress" The Longshots Nominated
2009 NAACP Image Awards "NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Performance in a Youth/Children's Series or Special" True Jackson, VP Won
2010 NAACP Image Awards "NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Performance in a Youth/Children's Series or Special" Won
Kids Choice Awards "Favorite TV Actress" Nominated
BET Awards "YoungStars Award" Won
2011 Young Artist Awards "Best Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama) – Leading Young Actress" Nominated
NAACP Image Awards "NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Performance in a Youth/Children's Series or Special" Won
BET Awards "YoungStars Award" Nominated
2012 NAACP Image Awards "NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Performance in a Youth/Children's Series or Special" Won
BET Awards "YoungStars Award" Joyful Noise Nominated
2013 Black Reel Awards "Best Actress in a Television Miniseries or Movie" Abducted: The Carlina White Story Nominated
NAACP Image Awards "Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special" Nominated
NAACP Image Awards "Outstanding Performance in a Youth/Children's Series or Special" Winx Club: Enchantix Nominated
BTVA Feature Film Voice Acting Award "Best Vocal Ensemble in a Feature Film (shared with Ice Age Cast)" Ice Age: Continental Drift Nominated
BET Awards "Youngstars Awards" Keke Palmer Nominated
Chief Keef-"Keke Palmer" Dedication Nominated
2014 Black Reel Awards "Best Actress in a Television Miniseries or Movie" CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story Nominated
NAACP Image Awards "Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special" Nominated
BET Awards "Youngstars Awards" Keke Palmer Won
2015 NAACP Image Awards "Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special" The Trip To Bountiful Nominated
Spirit of the League Awards Gala "Spirit Of The League Champion Award" Philanthrop Won
2016 NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture Brotherly Love Nominated
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