Kelis performing in 2011
|Birth name||Kelis Rogers|
August 21, 1979 |
New York City, United States
|Genres||R&B, neo soul, house, alternative hip hop, EDM, dance-pop|
|Labels||Ninja Tune, Virgin, Star Trak, Arista, Interscope, LaFace, Jive, Geffen, will.i.am|
Kelis Rogers Mora (//; born August 21, 1979) (née Rogers), better known mononymously as Kelis, is an American singer-songwriter and certified chef. She has won Brit Awards, Q Awards, and NME Awards, and was nominated for two Grammy Awards and has released six regular studio albums so far. She has had 10 top ten singles in the United Kingdom alone.
Kelis Rogers was born and raised in the Manhattan neighborhood of Harlem, New York City. Her first name is a portmanteau of her father's name, Kenneth (1944–2000), and her mother's name, Eveliss. Her father Kenneth was an African American jazz musician and Pentecostal minister, and was formerly a professor at Wesleyan University. Her mother Eveliss is a Puerto Rican and Chinese fashion designer who inspired Kelis to pursue her singing career. She has three sisters, Kelis being the third born of the four girls.
As a child, Kelis sang in church choirs and played violin, piano, and saxophone while attending Manhattan Country School, a private school. At the age of 13, Kelis shaved off all of her hair. In an interview with Charlotte Roche, Kelis says she was kicked out of her parents' house at the age of sixteen for having bad behavior stating that she would sometimes clash with her mother, but continued her education at the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, where she formed the R&B trio BLU (Black Ladies United). Kelis was also a bartender and a sales associate at a clothing store before graduating high school saying that she stole certain items from her job to get by from living out of her parents' house; afterwards, a friend introduced Kelis to The Neptunes (Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo); they formed a strong bond, and, with their support, she landed a record deal.
1998–2002: Kaleidoscope and Wanderland
Kelis began recording her debut album, Kaleidoscope, in mid-1998 and was finished within a year. Produced by The Neptunes, the album debuted at number 144 on the Billboard 200 and reached the top fifty on the Top Heatseekers, selling 11,000 copies in its first week of release. As of 2006 the album had sold 249,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Its lead and most notable single, "Caught Out There", peaked at number nine on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and became a minor MTV/BET video hit. The entire album took off in Europe, where "Caught out There" was a sizable hit in 1999. Kelis's colorful style in both clothing and hair received considerable attention.
"Caught out There" entered and peaked at number four on the UK Singles Chart in the United Kingdom. A second single, "Good Stuff" (featuring Terrar of Clipse), was a modest hit, securing a number nineteen position on the UK Singles Chart, although the third release, "Get Along with You", only reached number fifty-one in the United Kingdom, despite Kelis promoting the track there. The British Phonographic Industry certified Kaleidoscope gold, selling over 100,000 copies in the United Kingdom, where it reached number forty-three on the UK Albums Chart. Furthermore, Kelis won the BRIT Award for International Breakthrough Act and the NME Award for Best R&B/Soul Act in 2001. Kelis and the Neptunes' output at this time was heralded as foreshadowing an innovation in contemporary R&B, but she later said, "I was never an R&B artist. People coined me one but that's because, especially if you're in the States, if you're black and you sing, then you're R&B".
Kelis's second album, Wanderland, was released in 2001 in Europe, Asia, and Latin America, but did not receive a North American release. According to Kelis, her U.S. record company at the time, Virgin, had laid off those that worked on Kaleidoscope; their replacements did not understand or believe in Wanderland, which led her to leave the label around the time of the album's European release. Unlike those of her debut, Wanderland 's sales were mediocre, with just 80,000 copies sold worldwide, and the sole single released off the album, "Young, Fresh n' New", only reached number thirty-two in the UK. The album was, however, well received by publications such as The Guardian and NME.
In 2002, Kelis recorded her song "So Be It" for the Red Hot Organization's Fela Kuti tribute CD, Red Hot and Riot. The CD was released to four star reviews from Rolling Stone, Vibe, Spin, and Allmusic, and all proceeds were donated to AIDS awareness charities.
Kelis found mainstream success in the U.S. in 2003, with her Hot Dance Club Play number-one, Billboard Hot 100 top three single, "Milkshake"; this helped to propel her third album, Tasty, to sell over 400,000 copies in the U.S in only two months. It also earned her a Grammy Award nomination in 2004 for Best Urban/Alternative Performance. Although The Neptunes contributed a number of tracks to the album, Kelis began collaborating with other producers, such as Dallas Austin, André 3000, Rockwilder, and Raphael Saadiq, producing an altogether more eclectic, alternative sound. Speaking to Pete Lewis of Blues & Soul, she stated: "I felt like I had a lot to prove with this album. People had started messing with me along the lines of 'Is she REALLY any good without The Neptunes?—which I knew was ridiculous. And so I was like 'I'll take that challenge'." According to Nielsen SoundScan, the album has sold 533,000 copies in the United States and has gained gold status in the U.S., where "Milkshake" also went gold, selling over 500,000 copies.
The single and album immediately found success in Europe. According to the BPI, Tasty went platinum in the United Kingdom, selling over 300,000 copies, and the hit single "Milkshake" went silver, selling over 200,000 units—it was the UK's fourteenth best-selling single in 2004. The album's second single, the Dallas Austin-produced "Trick Me", also proved successful on radio and music video channels in Europe, and went to the top ten in many European countries during mid-2004. However, the song did not garner success in the U.S. in the absence of promotion from Jive Records, the label Kelis had been transferred to after Arista Records folded at the time of Tasty 's release. Kelis's success grew in Australia, where Tasty went gold with over 35,000 copies sold, and where "Milkshake" and "Trick Me" went platinum (selling over 70,000 copies each).
"Not in Love", Kelis's collaboration with Enrique Iglesias from his 2003 seventh studio album, 7, was released as a single the following year, reaching number five in the UK. Although the single failed to chart on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, it topped the U.S. Hot Dance Club Play chart. Kelis followed the success of the third Tasty single, "Millionaire" (featuring André 3000), with the Rockwilder-produced, sexually suggestive track "In Public" (featuring Nas). The single reached number seventeen on the UK chart without the support of a music video.
During this time, she collaborated with Björk on a remix of the first single from Medúlla, "Oceania", which appeared as a B-side to the Björk album's second single, "Who Is It". With the success of Tasty, Kelis went on tour as the opening act for fellow Jive artist Britney Spears's The Onyx Hotel Tour in 2004.
2006–08: Kelis Was Here
Kelis's fourth studio album, Kelis Was Here, was released in August 2006, and debuted and peaked at number ten on the Billboard 200. Despite its top ten debut, the album has sold only 157,000 copies in the United States as of October 2007, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Its lead single, "Bossy" (featuring Too Short), achieved frequent airplay on urban radio and was a moderate hit in the U.S., peaking at number sixteen. The single "Bossy" also went multi platinum in December 2006 according to the RIAA. The album includes production credits by Scott Storch, Cee-Lo Green (from the Gnarls Barkley fame), Max Martin, Dr. Luke, Raphael Saadiq, will.i.am, Knobody, Polow da Don, Damon Elliott, Cool and Dre, Sean Garrett, and Bangladesh. Unlike on Kelis's previous efforts, the production duo The Neptunes are not featured at all; Kelis was quoted as saying that it was "very important to me", but also that it was purely a creative decision and that she has no ill will toward Williams or Hugo. Kelis Was Here was nominated for Best Contemporary R&B Album at the 2007 Grammy Awards.
The second single from the album, which was pushed by her American label (Jive), was the collaboration with Nas, "Blindfold Me". The song missed the Billboard Hot 100, and reached only number ninety-one on the R&B chart. Afterwards, her European label (Virgin) decided not to release the single and to go instead with the Cee-Lo-featuring "Lil Star", which was another hit for Kelis in the United Kingdom, peaking at number three. In the UK, Kelis Was Here charted at number forty-one and has sold 60,000 copies, earning a silver certification from the BPI. According to the ARIA, Kelis Was Here went gold, selling 35,000 despite the fact the album had a debut of only ninety-six on the Australian Albums Chart. The popularity of the album's track "I Don't Think So" increased after its use in promotion for the 2008 season of the reality series Big Brother Australia. The song peaked at number twenty-seven on the ARIA chart and became a top ten urban hit. During mid 2007, Kelis toured in Europe, appearing in numerous festivals across the United Kingdom, France, and Germany, such as Wireless, Rise and Gurtenfestival.
Kelis is featured on the soundtrack to the 2005 film Just Like Heaven with a cover version of The Pretenders' 1979 classic "Brass in Pocket", as well as on the soundtrack to the 2006 dance film Step Up with a song called "80's Joint". Kelis collaborated with Busta Rhymes and will.i.am on the track "I Love My Bitch", the second single from Rhymes's 2006 seventh studio album, The Big Bang. This was the second time Kelis has teamed up with Rhymes, the first being his 2001 song "What It Is". Ford chose Kelis to help advertise the 2007 Ford Edge, and she recorded a theme song for the commercial, entitled "Push It to the Edge", with help from producer Scott Storch.
According to Kelis, she received no support from Jive Records for Kelis Was Here, and the label dropped her in late 2007. Her manager at the time said that the singer was working with Cee-Lo Green on an alternative dance album and would be shopping a pop album produced by songwriter Guy Chambers, who co-wrote hits such as Robbie Williams's "Angels". Scottish electronica producer Calvin Harris was also said to be collaborating with her. Kelis later said of this period, "I was like, 'I will never put out another record again, I hate this business, I hate all these people.' I was in this race that I didn't even realise that I was in. I woke up and ten years had passed. That was never my plan". She subsequently took a hiatus from music.
After Kelis left Jive, the label released a fourteen-track greatest hits album entitled The Hits in March 2008. The album does not contain any previously unreleased songs; Ol' Dirty Bastard's "Got Your Money", N.E.R.D's "Truth or Dare", and Richard X's "Finest Dreams" appear on the album alongside every charted Kelis single to that date, with the exception of "Blindfold Me".
2009–10: Flesh Tone
In 2009, Kelis announced that she was finishing her fifth studio album, to be released in 2010 under Interscope Records via the will.i.am Music Group. Kelis worked with various producers and contributors on the album, titled Flesh Tone, including Ammo, Jean Baptiste, Benny Benassi, Burns, Diplo, Boys Noize, Free School, DJ Switch, will.i.am and David Guetta. The album marked Kelis' transition into dance and pop music, away from her previous R&B-based material. Coinciding with her change in musical direction, Kelis appeared on Basement Jaxx's 2009 album Scars on the title track, on Benassi's 2010 single "Spaceship" with apl.de.ap and Jean Baptiste, and on the Crookers single "No Security" from their debut album Tons of Friends.
The first single from Flesh Tone, "Acapella" (produced by David Guetta), debuted in the top five on the UK Singles Chart and reached number one on the U.S. Hot Dance Club Songs and the UK Dance Chart. Flesh Tone was released in May 2010 in Europe and Asia, and in July in the U.S., where it debuted at number forty-eight on the Billboard 200 and number five on the Dance/Electronic Albums. The second single, "4th of July (Fireworks)", was accompanied by a video co-directed by Kelis herself (with John "Rankin" Waddell and Nicole Ehrlich), and became a club hit in America and Britain. Subsequent singles "Scream" and "Brave" made less chart impact.
During mid-2010, Kelis embarked on her first U.S. tour, titled All Hearts with Robyn, amid a selection of club, festival and solo dates that continued through 2011–these included Glastonbury, The Big Chill, Good Vibrations and Lovebox. Kelis appears on the Mark Ronson-produced track "The Man Who Stole a Leopard" from the 2010 Duran Duran release All You Need Is Now, and co-wrote the song "Waiting" for British pop singer Cheryl Cole's Messy Little Raindrops.
Kelis collaborated with Scottish producer Calvin Harris on the song "Bounce", the lead single from Harris' third studio album, 18 Months. The song was released in June 2011 in the United Kingdom and debuted at number two on the UK Singles Chart.
In a September 2011 interview, Kelis said that her sixth studio album would be finished "in the next few weeks". According to Kelis's management firm at the time, Three Six Zero Group, the album was to feature production from Skream, BURNS, Tom Neville, Dan Black, and Caspa. She said of the album, "I've been on a real 1990s vibe with this record, it's kind of trip-hoppish [...] it's more electro, it's a little deeper and darker". The Skream-produced single "Distance" received its UK radio premiere in June 2012. Kelis was featured on Skream's 2013 single "Copy Cat", which led to a dispute between the two after Kelis alleged that the producer refused to have her appear in the music video.
In April 2013, following reports that Kelis had been working with producer Dave Sitek, it was announced that she had signed to Sitek's own record label Federal Prism and was going to release two albums. A new single, "Jerk Ribs" premiered online the same month. In late 2013, it was announced that Kelis had signed to British independent label Ninja Tune for the release of the album, titled Food, in April 2014. Food is produced entirely by Sitek and contains influences of soul, funk, gospel, and Afrobeat—Kelis said of the album, "You know, those records in your life that your parents played and they resonate with who you are? They make you nostalgic. I wanted to find out how to get that feeling." She has spoken about the possibility of a follow-up release containing the 90s/trip-hop-influenced material from the initial recording sessions for the album. Food entered the UK Albums Chart at number twenty, becoming Kelis's second highest peaking album after Tasty in 2004.
Kelis's performance at London's Somerset House was recorded and released as an album, Live in London, in November 2014. The following month she was featured on house producer Breach's single "The Key", a reworking of his remix of Kelis's Food track "Rumble".
Between 2006 and 2010, Kelis trained part-time as a saucier, eventually graduating from Le Cordon Bleu culinary school. During 2006, Kelis wrote a cookbook with Lauren Pesavento and designed her own line of fashion accessories, called Cake. In 2007, she was in talks to host a Project Runway-esque show for VH1, and auditioned for various film and TV roles.
In 2013, Kelis debuted her sauce line, "Bounty & Full" (formerly named "Feast") at the Las Vegas Food and Wine Festival. In 2014, the Cooking Channel aired Kelis's cooking TV special, Saucy & Sweet.
Nasir Jones and Kelis met at an MTV Video Music Awards party in 2002; they dated for one year before becoming engaged in 2004, and marrying in January 2005. In April 2009 she filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences. She was seven months pregnant at the time. On July 22, 2009, Kelis gave birth to a baby boy named Knight. The birth was announced by Nas via an online video. The same month, a judge in New York City ordered Nas to pay Kelis $55,000 per month in child and spousal support. The couple's divorce was finalized in May 2010.
In March 2007, Kelis was detained by police in Miami Beach, Florida, and charged with disorderly conduct. The arrest report said the officers were posing as prostitutes along a main avenue in the South Beach nightclub district when Kelis started screaming racial profanities at them. She was sent to Miami-Dade County Jail, and was later released on a $1,500 bond. In September 2008, Kelis was acquitted on charges of resisting arrest, and disorderly conduct stemming back to the 2007 arrest. "I'm thrilled that justice prevailed in the end", Kelis said in a statement. A spokesman for Kelis further commented that the artist would still be moving forward with a lawsuit against the Miami Beach Police, claiming unlawful arrest and the violation of her civil rights.
In early 2015 Kelis married her long-term partner, Michael Mora. Marrying in private, the couple avoided media attention until it was revealed that Kelis owned a trademark for her new business Bounty & Full in her newly married name, Kelis Rogers Mora.
- Kaleidoscope (1999)
- Wanderland (2001)
- Tasty (2003)
- Kelis Was Here (2006)
- Flesh Tone (2010)
- Food (2014)
|2003||Volcano High||Song (voiceover)||MTV dub TV movie|
|2004||Saturday Night Live||Musical Guest (Herself)||"Drew Barrymore/Kelis" (Season 29, Episode 12)|
|2007||Me and Mr. Jones||Herself||Reality television/Executive producer|
|2010||Freaknik: The Musical||Tyra Banks/Oprah Winfrey (voice)||TV movie|
|2011||Duran Duran: Unstaged||Herself||Direct-to-Video documentary|
|2011||Top Chef Masters||Quickfire Judge (Herself)||"Everything Old Is New Again" (Season 3, Episode 2)|
|2012||Fashion Police||Herself||Guest judge|
|2013||Brazzaville Teen-Ager||Herself||Short film|
|2014||Saucy & Sweet||Herself||Cooking special|
|2014||Holiday Feast with Kelis||Herself||Cooking special|
|2000||"Caught Out There"||Q Award for Best Video||Won|
|2001||Kelis||BRIT Award for Best International Breakthrough Act||Won|
|Kelis||NME Award for Best R&B/Soul Act||Won|
|2004||"Milkshake"||MTV Europe Music Award for Best R&B||Nominated|
|Grammy Award for Best Urban/Alternative Performance||Nominated|
|Q Award for Best Video||Nominated|
|2005||Kelis||BRIT Award for Best International Female||Nominated|
|2007||Kelis Was Here||Grammy Award for Best Contemporary R&B Album||Nominated|
|"Bossy"||Urban Music Award for Best Music Video||Nominated|
|Kelis||Urban Music Award for Best R&B Act||Nominated|
|2010||Kelis||Silver Clef Raymond Weil International Award||Won|
|2014||Kelis||Soul Train Music Award for Centric Certified Award||Nominated|
- "Kelis signs to Ninja Tune, announces new album Food – FACT Magazine: Music News, New Music". Factmag.com. 2013-12-11. Retrieved 2014-04-23.
- She can be heard singing her name in the song "Blindfold Me"
- "Nas And Gray Help Kelis Celebrate Birthday". Contactmusic.com. August 28, 2006. Retrieved January 9, 2007.
- Kate Hutchinson, 'Soul Food', The Guardian, March 1, 2014.
- Pool, Hannah (February 1, 2007). "Question time: Kelis". The Guardian. Retrieved March 5, 2007.
- "Kelis". MTV UK. MTV Networks Europe. Retrieved February 27, 2011.
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- "Gold and Platinum – Searchable Database". RIAA.com. Retrieved June 4, 2008.
- "KELIS , TASTY , Platinum". British Phonographic Industry. October 22, 2004. Retrieved June 4, 2008.[dead link]
- "KELIS , MILKSHAKE , Silver". British Phonographic Industry. February 13, 2004. Retrieved June 4, 2008.[dead link]
- "KELIS , KELIS WAS HERE , Silver". British Phonographic Industry. September 29, 2006. Retrieved June 4, 2008.[dead link]
- Pycroft, Chris (April 27, 2008). "Kelis out of the charts? I don't think so!". GenQ. Retrieved June 4, 2008.
- "Ford Chooses Kelis To Push Edge". TheCarConnection.com. December 19, 2006. Retrieved January 9, 2007.
- Halperin, Shirley (October 26, 2007). "Jive Records drops Kelis". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 28, 2007.
- "Kelis To Work With Calvin Harris?". PR-inside.com. May 14, 2007. Archived from the original on February 3, 2008. Retrieved November 25, 2007.
- "Kelis: Flesh Tones". Inthenews.co.uk. Retrieved February 27, 2011.
- "Tons of Friends - Crookers : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-12-14.
- Jeffries, David (2009-09-22). "Scars - Basement Jaxx : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-12-14.
- "KELIS (@iamkelis) op Twitter". Iamkelis.com. Retrieved 2012-12-14.
- "KELIS (@iamkelis) op Twitter". Iamkelis.com. Retrieved 2012-12-14.
- "KELIS (@iamkelis) op Twitter". Iamkelis.com. Retrieved 2012-12-14.
- Becky Bain (2010-06-01). "Kelis And Robyn Announce Dates For All Hearts Tour | Music News, Reviews, and Gossip on". Idolator.com. Retrieved 2012-12-14.
- Cragg, Michael (May 2, 2011). "New music: Calvin Harris featuring Kelis – Bounce | Music". The Guardian (London). Retrieved June 19, 2011.
- "Take That Progress Back To Number One and Example Holds Firm". The Official Charts Company. June 19, 2011. Retrieved June 19, 2011.
- "Kelis Interview - AllSaints Basement Sessions: Bestival Special". YouTube. 2011-09-22. Retrieved 2012-12-14.
- [dead link]
- "Kelis unveils new track– listen | News". Nme.Com. 2012-07-01. Retrieved 2012-12-14.
- "Kelis Goes the 'Distance' with Skream-Produced Single: Listen - The Juice". Billboard. Retrieved 2012-12-14.
- "Kelis rejected by Skream for 'Copy Cat' music video - Music News". Digital Spy. 2013-01-29. Retrieved 2014-04-23.
- "Dave Sitek's Label Stacks 2013 Releases With TV on the Radio, Scarlett Johansson, and More | SPIN | Music News". SPIN. 2013-03-11. Retrieved 2014-04-23.
- "TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek's Federal Prism Label to Release New Music From TVOTR, Scarlett Johansson, Kelis, Freddie Gibbs, More | News". Pitchfork. 2013-03-11. Retrieved 2014-04-23.
- "Stream Kelis' Clattering 'Jerk Ribs,' Produced by Dave Sitek | SPIN | Songs". SPIN. 2013-04-23. Retrieved 2014-04-23.
- "Kelis Details Dave Sitek-Produced New Album Food, Signs to Ninja Tune | News". Pitchfork. 2013-12-11. Retrieved 2014-04-23.
- Kate Hutchinson. "Kelis: from dance diva to soul queen and qualified cook | Music". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-04-23.
- [dead link]
- "Paolo Nutini spends second week on top with Caustic Love". Officialcharts.com. 2014-04-27. Retrieved 2014-07-10.
- John Dingwall (2010-05-13). "R&B star Kelis: I almost quit music to become a chef". Daily Record. Retrieved 2012-12-14.
- Lelinwalla, Mark (March 14, 2006). "Kelis Talks Cookbook, New Album and Nas' Ex Carmen". vibe.com. Archived from the original on April 29, 2009. Retrieved May 22, 2009.
- Rodriguez, Jayson (September 25, 2006). "Kelis Wants To Help You Dress, Cook – But She Won't Do Your Taxes". mtv. Retrieved May 22, 2009.
- [dead link]
- "'Milkshake' Singer Kelis Files for Divorce". People. April 30, 2009.
- "Kelis Welcomes a Baby Boy!". usmagazine.com. July 22, 2009. Retrieved July 22, 2009.[dead link]
- Jayson, Rodriguez (July 22, 2009). "Nas Announces Birth Of Son With Kelis In Online Video". mtv. Retrieved July 22, 2009.
- "Judge Sides With Kelis, Orders Nas To Pay $55K In Monthly Support.".
- "Nas & Kelis – Officially divorced". Tmz.com. Retrieved 2012-12-14.
- "Cops: Singer Kelis Arrested for Screaming Profanities at Florida Police". Fox News Channel. March 3, 2007. Retrieved September 15, 2007.
- "Kelis Acquitted On Charges Of Disorderly Conduct, Resisting Arrest". MTV News. September 12, 2008. Retrieved September 13, 2008.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kelis.|
|Awards and achievements|
|BRIT Award for Best International Breakthrough Act