Emily King

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Emily King
Emily King performing in Portland, Oregon August 2016
Background information
Born (1985-07-10) July 10, 1985 (age 34)
OriginNew York City, United States
GenresR&B, soul
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter
Years active2004–present
LabelsATO, J Records

Emily King (born July 10, 1985) is an American singer and songwriter. She started her career in 2004 and her debut album East Side Story was released three years later in August 2007. In December 2007, King was listed as a Grammy nominee for Best Contemporary R&B Album.[1]


Born in New York City in 1985, King grew up in a small apartment on the Lower East Side. Her parents, Marion Cowings and Kim Kalesti, were a singing duo who performed and traveled regularly bringing her and her older brother along with them. At age 16, King left high school after earning her GED to pursue her music career. She began playing shows in restaurants and venues around New York City including CBGB and The Bitter End.


King signed her first record deal with J Records in 2004 and was featured on Nas' 2004 album Street's Disciple credited as simply "Emily". Her debut album East Side Story was released three years later in August 2007. It went on to earn a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary R&B Album of the Year. During that time King toured with John Legend and Floetry. She also opened for various artists such as Nas, Alicia Keys, Chaka Khan and Erykah Badu. After parting ways with her label in 2008, King continued her work independently. She self-recorded her follow-up EP Seven in her home, released July 2011. Later that year in October, she accepted an invitation from Maroon 5 to be the opening act on their European/Scandinavian tour.

In 2012, King was awarded the Holly Prize (a tribute to the legacy of Buddy Holly) from The Songwriters Hall of Fame for recognition of the "all-in songwriter" whose work exhibits the qualities of Holly’s music: true, great and original.[citation needed] In the fall, King was invited by Emeli Sande to open for her UK tour playing sold out shows in 5 cities including The Royal Albert Hall in London. King collaborated with José James on his album No Beginning No End in 2013 and can be heard on tracks "Heaven on the Ground" and the acoustic version of "Come to My Door". In 2014, King was performing as an opening act for Sara Bareilles' Little Black Dress tour.

The year 2015 marked the release of King's second studio album, The Switch, which was self-released by her own label Making Music Records on June 26. The Wall Street Journal remarked that the album is "a tasteful collection of eleven songs that showcase King’s distinctive voice."[2]

After signing with the independent label ATO Records in 2017, King became labelmates with Brittany Howard, Benjamin Booker and Brandi Carlile, among other members of the ATO Records family.[3] It is under this same record company that King released her third studio album, Scenery, on February 1, 2019.

In fall 2019, King once again performed as an opening act for Sara Bareilles in Bareilles' Amidst The Chaos Tour. [4]


Studio albums[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions
US R&B US Heat
East Side Story
  • Release: August 28, 2007
  • Label: J
  • Formats: CD, digital download
60 18
The Switch
  • Release: June 26, 2015
  • Label: Making Music
  • Formats: CD, digital download
41 16
  • Release: February 1, 2019
  • Label: ATO
  • Formats: CD, digital download


  • East Side Story [Sampler] (2006)[5]
  • Seven (2011)[6]


  • "Walk in My Shoes" (2007) with Lupe Fiasco[7]
  • "Ordinary Heart" (2012)
  • "Distance" (2014)
  • "Remind Me" (2018)
  • "Look at Me Now" (2018)
  • "Can't Hold Me" (2019)


  1. ^ "Emily King, Auckland Arts Festival". NZ Herald. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  2. ^ "Emily King Listens to Her Instincts on 'The Switch' (Exclusive Album)". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  3. ^ "Emily King – ATO RECORDS". Retrieved 2019-01-19.
  4. ^ http://atorecords.com/featured/emily-king-announces-fall-arena-tour-supporting-sara-bareilles/
  5. ^ "East Side Story [Sampler]". AllMusic. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  6. ^ "Seven EP". AllMusic. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  7. ^ "Walk in My Shoes". AllMusic. Retrieved 20 March 2016.

External links[edit]