Palmer at the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con International
|Born||Lauren Keyana Palmer
August 26, 1993
Harvey, Illinois, U.S.
Lauren Keyana "Keke" Palmer (born August 26, 1993) is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and television personality. Palmer was born in Harvey, Illinois and raised in Robbins, Illinois. After Palmer's film debut, Palmer and her family moved to California to help her pursue a career in acting. Palmer released her debut album, So Uncool, on September 18, 2007 through Atlantic Records. The album failed to chart on the US Billboard 200 but did chart at number 85 on the 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 and rose to prominence in 2006 for her breakthrough role in Akeelah and the Bee as well as starring in Madea's Family Reunion. Palmer has also starred in films such as 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 the television films Knights of the South Bronx (2005), Jump In! (2007), and Rags (2012) amongst others. Palmer has also had numerous television roles including the lead role in 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 is currently a series regular on Scream Queens, a horror-camp television show, which debuted on the Fox Network on September 22, 2015.
Palmer was born on August 26, 1993 in Harvey, Illinois. Her parents, Sharon and Larry Palmer, who met in drama 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 autistic children. Palmer first sang in a church but earned exposure performing at a stage show at a Chicago tourist destination.
2002–06: Career beginnings
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. 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 and ER. In 2005 signed with Disney Channel to star in the show Keke & Jamal, but the pilot was unaired and Palmer left the channel.
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 comes from a poor neighborhood and competes in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Palmer also had a supporting role in the 2006 film Madea's Family Reunion.
2007–12: True Jackson, VP and musical releases
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. Palmer released her debut album So Uncool on September 18, 2007, though Atlantic Records. The album failed to chart on the US Billboard 200, but did chart at number 85 on the R&B chart. The album was preceded by the lead single "Keep It Movin'". In 2008, Palmer began her starring role as the title character in Nickelodeon sitcom True Jackson, VP. Palmer also wrote and performed the theme song for the series. Palmer earned $20,000 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 Lil Eddie and Lucas Secon. 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 was "The One You Call". A music video was also released for the song. It premiered on Palmer's official YouTube channel and iTunes. In 2011 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 produced and starred 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". Palmer released a self-titled mixtape Keke Palmer on October 1, 2012. It includes her new singles "You Got Me" & "Dance Alone" which have already been released. Since the release, her mixtape has over 35,000 downloads.
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 21 April 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 Keke announced on Twitter that she has signed a record deal with one of Universals major labels Island.
Palmer's first studio album So Uncool was heavily influenced by contemporary R&B, being described as "bright, 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 cduniverse.com. Palmer was heavily influenced by American R&B singers Beyoncé, Ciara, Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, Aaliyah, Brandy, Whitney Houston, and R. Kelly, as well as girl group TLC.
Following the release of her single I Don't Belong to You on October 25th 2015, Keke 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.
Palmer 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. She has worked with such charities as the YWCA and with Saving Our Daughters. 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. 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.
|2004||Barbershop 2: Back in Business||Gina's niece|
|2006||Akeelah and the Bee||Akeelah Anderson|
|2006||Madea's Family Reunion||Nikki Grady|
|2008||Longshots, TheThe Longshots||Jasmine Plummer|
|2008||Unstable Fables: Tortoise vs. Hare||Crystal Tortoise||Voice|
|2012||Winx Club: The Secret of the Lost Kingdom||Aisha||Voice|
|2012||Joyful Noise||Olivia Hill|
|2012||Ice Age: Continental Drift||Peaches||Voice|
|2015||Tobacco Valley||Diana Davis (Young)||Post-production|
|2016||Ice Age: Collision Course||Peaches||Post-production; Voice|
|2004||Cold Case||Arlene Marion||"The Letter" (Season 1, Episode 13)|
|2004||Strong Medicine||Sarina||"Healing Touch" (Season 5, Episode 7)|
|2004||Wool Cap, TheThe Wool Cap||Lou||TV film|
|2005||Knights of the South Bronx||Kenya Russell||TV film|
|2005||Second Time Around||Sharlene||"Big Bank, Little Bank" (Season 1, Episode 11)|
|2005||ER||Janell Parkerson||"The Show Must Go On" (Season 11, Episode 22)|
|2005||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Tasha Wright||"Storm" (Season 7, Episode 10)|
|2007||Jump In!||Mary Thomas||TV film|
|2007||Tyler Perry's House of Payne||Nikki||"Bully and the Beast" (Season 2, Episode 1)|
|2007||Just Jordan||C.C. Livingston||"Fame Game" (Season 2, Episode 4)|
|2008–11||True Jackson, VP||True Jackson||Lead role|
|2010||The Cleveland Show||Candice||Voice; "Harder, Better, Faster, Browner" (Season 2, Episode 1)|
|2011||Degrassi: The Next Generation||Herself||"Boom Boom Pow: Part 1" (Season 11, Episode 1)
"Boom Boom Pow: Part 2" (Season 11, Episode 2)
|2011–15||Winx Club||Aisha||Voice; Main role|
|2012||Rags||Kadee Worth||TV film|
|2012||Abducted: The Carlina White Story||Carlina White||TV film|
|2013||CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story||Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas||TV film|
|2013||Key & Peele||Malia Obama's anger translator||"Obama Shutdown" (Season 3, Episode 5)|
|2013||Full Circle||Chan'dra Stevens||"Jace & Chan'dra" (Season 1, Episode 4)
"Chan'dra & Cliff" (Season 1, Episode 5)
|2013||90210||Elizabeth Royce Harwood||Recurring role (Season 5)|
|2014||Single Ladies||Herself||"The Girl Most Likely To..." (Season 3, Episode 3)|
|2014||Grey's Anatomy||Cheryl||"We Gotta Get Out of This Place" (Season 10, Episode 16)|
|2014||Family Guy||Pam||Voice; "Baby Got Black" (Season 12, Episode 18)|
|2014||Trip to Bountiful, TheThe Trip to Bountiful||Thelma||TV film|
|2014||Just Keke||Herself / Host|
|2014||Masters of Sex||Coral Anders||Recurring role (Season 2)|
|2015–present||Scream Queens||Zayday Williams||Main role|
|2015||Grease Live||Marty Maraschino||TV film|
- So Uncool (2007)
Awards and nominations
|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|
|NAACP Image Awards||Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special||Won|
|2006||Chicago Film Critics Association Awards||Most Promising Performer||Akeelah and the Bee|
|Black Movie Awards||Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role|
|2007||Young Artist Award||Best Performance in a Feature Film - Leading Young Actress|
|NAACP Image Awards||Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture|
|Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards||Best Young Actress||Nominated|
|Black Reel Awards||Best Actress||Won|
|Best Breakthrough Performance||Nominated|
|2008||Young Artist Awards||Best Performance in a Feature Film - Supporting Young Actress||Cleaner|
|Black Reel Awards||Best Actress||The Longshots|
|2009||NAACP Image Awards||Outstanding Performance in a Youth/Children's Series or Special||True Jackson, VP||Won|
|2010||NAACP Image Awards||Outstanding Performance in a Youth/Children's Series or Special|
|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||Outstanding Performance in a Youth/Children's Series or Special||Won|
|BET Awards||YoungStars Award||Nominated|
|2012||NAACP Image Awards||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|
|NAACP Image Awards||Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special|
|NAACP Image Awards||Outstanding Performance in a Youth/Children's Series or Special||Winx Club: Enchantix|
|2014||Black Reel Awards||Best Actress in a Television Miniseries or Movie||CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story|
|NAACP Image Awards||Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special|
- "TV's Highest-Paid Kid Actors (Surprise! Miley Cyrus Isn't No. 1)". PopEater.com. 2010-05-10. Retrieved 2012-11-26.
- "Woman Crush Wednesday: Say Hello to Keke Palmer of Scream Queens". decider.com. 2015-09-16. Retrieved 2015-09-22.
- "Keke Palmer Biography - Facts, Birthday, Life Story". Biography.com. 1993-08-26. Retrieved 2012-11-26.
- Ebony Haynes, Gumbo Magazine July 2006, page 31 (scan in KekePalmer.com)
- Breznican, Anthony (April 28, 2006). "'Bee' star is a real keeper". USA Today. Retrieved 2010-05-07.
- Schaeffer, Stephen (April 28, 2006). "MOVIES; Rising star a winner in `Bee'". Boston Herald. Retrieved 2010-12-29.
Her father works for a polyurethane company and her mother teaches autistic children.
- "Keke Palmer Movies". blockbuster.com. Retrieved 10 August 2013.
- "Ed Harris and Keke Palmer Get The Cleaner". movieweb.com. December 13, 2006. Retrieved 10 August 2013.
- "Keke Palmer Launches True Jackson Clothing Line for Walmart – Style News - StyleWatch - People.com". Stylenews.peoplestylewatch.com. Retrieved 2012-11-26.
- "Twitter / KekePalmer: @gabsmc I've been do some". Twitter.com. Retrieved 2012-11-26.
- "Keke Palmer – Awaken | FREE Mixtapes Online". iTapez. 2011-01-10. Retrieved 2012-02-17.
- "iTunes - Music - The One You Call - Single by Keke Palmer". Itunes.apple.com. 2010-12-07. Retrieved 2012-02-17.
- "Keke Palmer Plots Strong 2011 With TV, Film, Music and Animations". Singersroom. 2011-01-11. Retrieved 2012-11-26.
- Sneider, Jeff (2011-09-06). "Breslin to 'Virgin Mary'". Variety. Retrieved 2011-11-25.
- "Keke Palmer Talks "We Are" and "Ice Age: Continental Drift"". Artistdirect.com. Retrieved 2012-11-26.
- "Video: Keke Palmer f/ Kevin McCall – ‘You Got Me’". Rap-Up.com. Retrieved 2012-11-26.
- "Exclusive Preview: Keke Palmer Reveals Self-Titled Mixtape Snippets". Thisisrnb.com. 2012-09-26. Retrieved 2012-11-26.
- "Keke Palmer".
- "CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story Cast Member - Keke Palmer". Blog.vh1.com. 2013-02-19. Retrieved 2013-10-18.
- "'CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story' Trailer Teases VH1 Biopic's Take On 'Waterfalls' And 'No Scrubs'". huffingtonpost.com. 2013-07-25. Retrieved 10 August 2013.
- "Keke Palmer Covers Alicia Keys "If I Ain't Got You"".
- "The Other Side by Keke Palmer & Max Schneider featuring Jason Derulo".
- "The Other Side - Single Keke Palmer & Max Schneider". itunes.com. Retrieved 10 August 2013.
- Ng, Philiana (July 25, 2013). "Drew Barrymore's 'Animal' Sets Ensemble Cast (Exclusive)". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
- Ng, Philiana (March 12, 2014). "Keke Palmer Joins 'Masters of Sex'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 29, 2014.
- "Keke Palmer Signs Joint Venture with Music Producer Bangladesh".
- "Premiere Date Revealed For Keke Palmer's New BET Talk Show". June 3, 2014. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
- "Keke Palmer on Becoming Broadway’s First African-American Cinderella". Vanity Fair.
- Eskridge, Sonya (January 4, 2015). "Keke Palmer & NeNe Leakes Wrap Up Their Run On Broadway In ‘Cinderella’". HelloBeautiful. Retrieved January 18, 2015.
- TCA Winter 2015: 'Cast Fills Out for Fox's Scream Queens with Joe Manganiello, Abigail Breslin, and More!
- "Keke Palmer-So Uncool CD Album". Cduniverse.com. 2007-09-18. Retrieved 2012-11-26.
- [dead link]
- "Keke Palmer's Charity Work, Events and Causes". Looktothestars.org. Retrieved 2012-11-26.
- "Keke Palmer Combats Bullying With New Campaign". Looktothestars.org. Retrieved 2012-11-26.
- "MIXTAPE AVAILABLE". KekePalmer.com. Retrieved 2012-11-26.
- "Lea Michele Joins Ryan Murphy’s Scream Queens -- Vulture". Vulture.
- "Keke Palmer Tips Off the WNBA Footworkin’ Summer Concert Tour". WNBA. June 3, 2015.
- "Radio Disney Jingle Jam 2007". Celebration Town Center. June 3, 2015.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Keke Palmer.|
- Official website
- Keke Palmer at the Internet Movie Database
- Keke Palmer at the Internet Broadway Database