Keshia Chanté

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For the musician's eponymous album, see Keshia Chanté (album).
Keshia Chanté
Keshia Chanté (2010) - 2.jpg
Keshia Chanté on set of her music video "Test Drive" in 2010
Background information
Birth name Keshia Chanté Harper
Born (1988-06-16) June 16, 1988 (age 28)
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Origin Toronto, Ontario, Canada[1]
Genres R&B, Pop, Hip hop
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, actress, television personality
Years active 2003–present
Labels Universal Music
Associated acts Drake, Bow Wow

Keshia Chanté (born June 16, 1988) is a Canadian singer-songwriter, television host, television personality, actress, and philanthropist. She first garnered recognition in 2003, at the age of 14, for the release of her debut album with Sony Music. In Canada, she is known as a teen star having released two albums during her teen years.

Chante has garnered numerous awards and accolades. She is a Juno Award (Canadian Grammy) winner & six-time nominee. She is the youngest Juno winner, earning the award in 2004, at age 16. She has won 5 Urban Music Awards & 2 Radio Music Awards. She was given a star on the Brampton Walk of Fame for her achievements in Canadian Music & Film.[2]

Chante has had numerous #1 singles on radio in both Canada & Japan, as well as 8 singles hitting Top Ten on the radio music charts. She has earned SOCAN #1 Awards for her songwriting efforts. Her single "Table Dancer" went #1 on the Billboard Charts in Japan. Chante has had 8 singles hitting the Top Ten charts on Canadian Radio, with songs Shook, Unpredictable, Bad Boy, Does He Love Me?, Been Gone, 2U, Fallen & Table Dancer[3][4]

In 2012, she rose to prominence internationally hosting BET's 106 & Park alongside Bow Wow. Chante made history on the show having interviewed the First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama. Her "Bad Boy" music video was in heavy rotation on BET[5] and she made a special guest appearance in Bow Wow & Chris Brown's "Shortie Like Mine" music video.

She served as the Youth Ambassador for CANFAR[6]

Early life[edit]

Keshia Chanté was born in Ottawa, Ontario. Her mother is Puerto Rican and Portuguese and her father is Trinidadian. At the age of 6, Chante performed for the first time, performing Dear Mama by Tupac Shakur. She received a standing ovation and Chante cited the crowd's warm reception as the reason for her pursuing music at a young age.[7] In school, she was on the honour roll and ranked valedictorian. Chante took part in several school and community talent shows. At the age of 14, a video of her performance brought the attention of an Ottawa DJ who sent the video to BMG Music Canada. She was invited to Toronto for a live audition, where she was immediately signed and began working on her debut music release.[8] She attended St. Peter Catholic High School in Orleans until the age of 14 when she began working with a private tutor in hopes of better balancing school and her newfound career. She subsequently moved to Toronto and in 2006, graduated with honours at Fletcher's Meadow Secondary School in Brampton, Ontario.


2003–05: Keshia Chanté (Self-Titled debut album) and other projects[edit]

Her debut single "Shook (The Answer)" was released in early 2003, when Chante was only 14 years old. It won an Urban Music Award for "Best Pop/R&B Single". The follow-up, "Unpredictable" went #3 on both radio & video charts,[9] she released her first video, which hit number one on YTV and the top ten on MuchMusic. In November 2003, the CD single of "Unpredictable" was certified gold. Because of that single, in 2003, she won the Canadian Radio Music Award for "Best New Solo Artist". In early February 2004, Chanté's third single, "Bad Boy", was released. It was also successful, breaking the Top 10 on radio and sitting at #3 on MuchMusic for 4 weeks before later earning the #1 position on the chart. The video was directed by director Little X.[10] Later, in June 2004, Chanté topped the charts again (Top 5) with the release of her fourth single "Does He Love Me?" ft. Foxy Brown, which Chanté & Foxy Brown wrote and "Young Gav" (Foxy Brown's older brother) produced. The video was also directed by Little X and became #1 on MuchMusic for 3 weeks. The video also garnered her an Urban Music Video Award for "Video of the Year". On June 22, 2004 Chanté released her self-titled debut album. On December 3, 2004 it was certified gold. It contained her previous singles, as well as her later to be released fifth single "Let the Music Take You", also penned by Chanté. In October 2004, at the Canadian Urban Music Awards Chanté swept all three of her nominations, winning awards for "Best New Artist", "Video of the Year" (for Bad Boy), "Fans' Choice Award" and by surprise taking home the "Rising Star of the Year" award.[8] In that same month, she also sang the national anthem at the Canadian Football League's Grey Cup championship game.[11]

In December 2004, Chanté headlined a concert at Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto for New Year's Eve.[12] In February 2005, Chante won Chartattack Awards for "Best Album" and "Sexiest Female". During the same month, she was also selected to represent Canada at Expo 2005 held in Japan. In July 2005, Chanté went on a cross-Canada mall and venue tour sponsored by Solo Mobile (Bell), EckoRed and SPC sponsored Chante's tour across Canada which helped raise awareness for the phone counseling service Kids Help Phone. In September 2005, Chanté performed on tour with Destiny's Child throughout Canada during their Destiny Fulfilled ... And Lovin' It tour, and is also included on the Destiny's Child Live In Atlanta Tour DVD. In October 2005, Chanté received four nominations at the Urban Music Awards.[13]

2006–09: 2U[edit]

After her signing, Chanté moved to New York to begin working on her second album. During that time, Chanté was on Teen People Magazine's "Rock The Runway" Mall Tour (where Ciara started) and Seventeen Magazine's "Rock N' Shop" Mall Tour (where Britney Spears started). In May 2006, she posted 3 brand new songs, "Been Gone", "Kiss" and "Summer Love" on MySpace. In March 2006 she released her "2U" Album teaser single, "Ring The Alarm", which was used for WarChild's "Keep The Beat" charity campaign. All the proceeds from "Ring The Alarm" went to supported children at war and was also featured on triple platinum compilation "MuchDance 2006". In July of that year, she released her single "Been Gone", produced by Philadelphia's Matrax Productions. The video was shot by Little X (making it her 3rd collaboration with him) and was shot inside of "Fletcher's Meadow Secondary School" where Chanté attended in her last year of school and graduated. Her second single, "2U", produced by Matrax was released in early November. 2U's video was shot on October 22 in Miami by director Bobby O'Neill, and was released on Yahoo Music Canada on November 16. Also in 2006, Chanté made a featured cameo appearance in label mate Bow Wow's video "Shortie Like Mine". The video depicts Rapper Bow Wow searching for Keshia Chanté on his laptop. They send messages back and forth throughout the video. Her second album, which Chanté executive produced[14] was released on December 5, 2006 in Canada through Sony BMG Canada and was released in May 2007 in Japan. Chanté refused to finish promoting her album to its full potential because of "dirty label politics" infuriating her to ask to be released from her record label. After a few months, her wish was granted and she was released from Sony BMG Canada.[15] MTV's "The Diary of Keshia Chante" aired in Canada December 6, 2006, showing footage following Chante as she travelled to Miami and LA working on her album.[4] On March 5, 2007, Vervegirl magazine announced a tour of eight Canadian high schools with Chanté.[16]

In 2007, after her departure from Sony BMG Canada, Chanté took a brief absence from the spotlight, wanting to learn more about the music business and being mentored by respected entertainment lawyers in Hollywood and Toronto. She later made the decision to move to Atlanta and West Hollywood, where she worked closely the camps of Ne-Yo, Missy Elliott and OutKast. She began honing her skill as a songwriter and her acting chops, starring as the lead actress in the TV series "Soul".[17][18]

2010–2012: Night & Day & The Next Star[edit]

Chanté on set of her music video "Test Drive" in 2010.

Chanté signed to Universal Music Canada. In September, Chanté announced that she would release a 2 disc album titled "Night & Day" slated for a release in November 2011. One disc, titled 'Night' will be all Dance music and the other disc, titled 'Day' will be R&B, reminiscent of Chanté's first two albums. When looking for inspiration and the direction that she wanted for this album, she stated that wanted something with "no-genre", sing something that was real and to the heart. Keshia found inspiration from Brandy's Afrodisiac. In October, Chanté released two new singles, "Table Dancer" from the 'Night' side of her album and "Test Drive" from the 'Day' side. In November, the music video for "Test Drive" was released exclusively on VEVO, starring Chanté's boyfriend, NHL goalie Ray Emery and endorsed by Smarties. Later the music video for "Table Dancer" was released, endorsed by Pepsi. The video and song both entered into the Top 10 at radio and on MuchMusic.

"Table Dancer" so far has reached #44 on the Canadian Hot 100, accumulating an audience of over 5,000,000 and #22 on the Top 40. The single has also entered the Canadian iTunes R&B/Soul Chart and peaked at #6. In February 2011, Chanté was nominated for two Juno Awards; R&B Recording of the Year for "Test Drive" and Dance Recording of the Year for "Table Dancer".[6] She presented at the award ceremony. On February 14, 2011, Chanté revealed the cover of her new upcoming singles titled Set U Free/If U Say Keshia Chante's Photos – Wall Photos Later Chanté released the Taio Cruz written song "Set U Free". She later released a video shot in Isla Mujeres, Mexico which was endorsed by Contiki.

In November, Chanté went on a mini school tour with Universal Music Canada's Uni Community to reach out to high school students about the importance of finishing school and following their dreams. On December 31, 2011, Chanté performed with Simple Plan, Our Lady Peace and the Sheepdogs for ET Canada's New Year's Eve Bash in Niagara Falls, which later set a record becoming Canada's #1 Year End Countdown Show with 4.8 million viewers.[19] In February 2012, Chanté appeared and performed in the CBC film Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town based on the best selling novel of the same name. In March, the Juno Awards honored Chanté with her very own garden at Canada's National Flower & Home Festival, Canada Blooms, titled "Blooming System". In April 2012, ET Canada announced Chanté as the new judge on YTV's The Next Star.

On June 14, 2012, Chanté made her US television debut on BET's 106 & Park as a co-host on two separate occasions.[20]

Chanté guest starred & judged on TV shows Top Chef Canada and Canada's Best Beauty Talent with supermodel Coco Rocha & Flare Magazine's Editor-in-Chief Lisa Tant[21]

In August 2012, Chanté signed a 3 album record deal in Japan, releasing her album Night & Day there in November of the same year. In November, Table Dancer landed on Japan's billboard chart; #6[22] on Hot 100, #3[23] on Digital & Airplay & #11[24] on regular charts. On the week of November 28, 2012, Chante's first single release "Table Dancer" went #1 on the Billboard Charts in Japan.[23] The single is Chanté's first song ever to chart outside of Canada.

2013–present: BET's 106 and Park & Fourth studio album[edit]

On March 20, 2013, Chanté revealed on Twitter that she is returning as a judge on YTV's The Next Star season six.

On June 30, 2013, Chanté attended the 2013 BET Awards as a correspondent for the event & began co-hosting select episodes of 106 & Park.

On September 26, 2013, BET President Stephen Hill announced on the Rickey Smiley Morning Show that Chante will be a new co host for 106 & Park alongside rapper Bow Wow starting on October 1. This makes Chante the first ever Canadian to host the show. The show can be seen in over 85 million homes in the U.S., Canada, Japan, United Kingdom, Africa, the Caribbean, Germany She has interviewed The First Lady of the United States Of America, Michelle Obama, Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez, Mark Wahlberg, Jason Statham, Sylvester Stallone, Denzel Washington, Jessica Alba, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Robert De Niro, Will Ferrell, Eminem, The Rock, Chris Rock, Zoe Saldana, Floyd Mayweather, Forest Whitaker, 50 Cent, Kerry Washington, T.I, Solange, Jamie Foxx, Tyra Banks, Naomi Campbell, Kevin Hart, Melissa McCarthy, Emma Stone, Gabrielle Union, Paula Patton, Tracee Ellis Ross, Andrew Garfield, Chris Brown, Drake, Joe Manganiello, Robin Thicke, Jennifer Hudson, Timbaland, Trey Songz, Nick Cannon, Queen Latifah, Desean Jackson, Common, Ne-Yo, Jason Derulo, Tyrese Nas, Taraji P. Henson, Tracy Morgan, Chris Weidman, Regina King, Meagan Good, Monica, Keyshia Cole, MC Lyte, Rev Run, Ice Cube, Ashanti, and many more.

In February 2014, Chante announced she was working on her fourth studio album with Universal Music In July 2015, it was announced that Chante would be joining Season 2 of Hockey Wives.

In December 2014, received a star on the Brampton Arts Walk of Fame.[2]


Musical style[edit]

Tara Henley of The Georgia Straight noted that beneath the slickly produced, hip-hop—tinged, pop veneer of tracks like "Shook (The Answer)" lies an arresting voice, magnetic charisma, and driving ambition."[25] Denise Sheppard from also noted, "[Chanté is] a teen-targeted pop phenom" whose "music has the one-two punch of melodic hooks and the voice to back them up; a combination that can and will appeal to dance/pop music fans of any age.[26] Chanté is artistically involved in her projects, especially in the writing process. She has received executive production credit on most of her music in which she has been involved, however she doesn't formulate beats herself, she typically comes up with melodies and ideas during production, sharing them with producers. Some of her songs are autobiographical, which she has admitted are taken from personal experiences, as well as her friends. Chanté's music is generally contemporary R&B, but she also incorporates pop, dance and hip hop into her music.


Keshia at Toronto Fashion Week, in 2010

Chanté cites Beyoncé as one of her main idols (whom she opened up for as a supporting act in Canada back in 2005 for the group Destiny's Child). She also cites Aaliyah, Brandy, & 80's R&B. Chanté also cites Tupac Shakur as one of her inspiration, whom she shares the same birth date with.[27]

Public image[edit]

As Chanté matured, greater interest in her fashion choices began. Chanté has been known to have an aesthetic of mixing super high fashion with lower end as a way of "connecting to her younger fans."[28] In Canada, Chanté is considered a Fashionista by fashion's high rankings.[29] Chante has performed for Marchesa's first runway show in Toronto, as well as at Chanel's event for Film Festival.

Her style has been described as "glamorous" meets "sexy elegance" by Holt Renfrew executives.[29] Chante is an avid supporter of Canadian Fashion Designers and labels. Flare Magazine has named her a "true style chameleon"[30] January 2012, Fashion Television labeled Keshia a Fashion Icon[31] Chante regularly attends front row at Fashion Week with her outfits anticipated and documented. In 2010, she attended Evan Biddell's show and appeared in his opening runway video.[32] In October 2009, Chanté acquired stock in Guess's upscale fashion brand Marciano. Chanté also co-owns the Marciano Store in Toronto's Yorkdale Shopping Center.[33] In September 2011, Chante & Canadian model Yasmin Warsame through a charity party at TIFF in support of her foundation, The African Future.[34] In 2012, Chante served as a Judge on Canada's Best Beauty Talent with Coco Rocha and Editor-in-Chief of FLARE Magazine Lisa Tant [35]

She adores gold accessories, cream and white colored clothing, and looks up to pop singer Jennifer Lopez as her style icon and Donatella Versace as one of her favorite designers.

Other ventures[edit]


Chante has been endorsed by brands such as Pepsi, Smarties, Bell, Solo Mobile, Davids Footwear, Stila Cosmetics, MAC Cosmetics, Ecko Red and Sony Cybershot, Sony Vaio and other Sony electronics. In 2007, it was announced that Chante would be collaborating on a diamond jewellery line with conflict-free diamond company, Polar Bear Diamonds and begin working on a perfume line.[36] In November 2010, Chante became the face of Pepsi and their Pepsi Refresh Project campaign, with Pepsi presenting Chante's video "Table Dancer". Chante is the face of Ontario Tourism and sings the theme song "There's No Place Like This" in their commercials.[37][38] Chanté is the face of the Sony's Cyber-Shot Digital Camera[1] and was the face of EckoRed in 2006. In 2005, Solo Mobile (Bell), EckoRed and SPC sponsored Chante's tour across Canada which helped raise awareness for phone counseling service Kids Help Phone.[39] Chante has collaborated with Smarties in music video "Test Drive". In June 2012, it was announced that Chante would be the new face of a campaign with Panasonic & CANFAR.

Acting career[edit]

Chanté on backstage of the music video "Table Dancer" in 2010.

In 2006, Chanté starred as herself in the indie flick "Cats Cradle".[40] In 2007 she had a guest starring role in "Da Kink in My Hair".[40] In August 2008, Chanté got the lead role in a one-hour television series drama titled '"Soul", in which she played a teen conflicted about having to choose between the church choir and pop stardom. It filmed for several months in Halifax. In February 2009, Soul began to air on VisionTV throughout Canada[41] and is being acquired by BET. In September 2011, Chante filmed the CBC TV adaptation of Stephen Leacock's Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town which airs February 2012.


Chante worked closely with Alicia Keys to throw a fundraising concert to help build awareness about AIDS with the Stephen Lewis Foundation[42][43] and was a part of BET'S Rap-It-Up campaign. In 2008, she visited Dominican Republic to work with World Vision.[44][45] She has also been a part of three consecutive WorldVision 30 Hour Famine's and has been a part of many of their campaigns and advertisements endorsing the event. Chante also developed the Roger's Love Music Speaking Tour where she spoke to school students across Canada and donated tens of thousands of dollars to their music programs.[46] She has contributed to WarChild's Keep The Beat campaign donating the proceeds of her singles to them, as well as the proceeds that came from her songs inclusion into the MuchMusic's MuchDance compilations. In November 2010, CANFAR announced Chante as their official Youth Ambassador. She participated in World AIDS Day doing a media tour with CANFAR President Christopher Bunting.[47] In May, Chante travelled to Kenya with CANFAR where she spent 10 days working with orphans who lost their parents to HIV/AIDS and building with other student volunteers to help out students in classrooms in Nairobi.[48] Chante documented her experience for the December 2011 issue of Elle Canada.[49] In 2014, Chante starred in NBC's PSA for Mariska Hargitay's Joyful Heart foundation alongside Eli Manning, Hilary Swank, Courtney Cox, Dave Navarro, Amy Poehler and more.

Personal life[edit]

On December 18, 2013, Chante was invited by United States President Barack Obama & the first lady Michelle Obama to their White House holiday party in DC.

In 2009, rapper Drake was asked by MuchMusic's VJ Sarah Taylor on his past relationship with Chante when they were 16 years old. Drake said he would be "proud to call [Chante] an ex-girlfriend". Drake is heard discussing the relationship in the remix of Chante's song titled "Fallen". Drake also speaks of Chante in the second verse of his song "Deceiving" referencing Chante's mom "Tessa", Drake rhymes; "What up Tessa, I love you like my own mama / And your daughter's getting grown, mama / And me, I'm just here working, waiting / patient for her to be ready to love and leave alone drama."[50][51]

On October 1, 2013, Drake officially announced that Chante was the new host of 106 & Park showing that they remain friends.

Awards and nominations[edit]


  • Canadian Urban Music Award for Best R&B/Soul Single for "Shook (The Answer)" – Won
  • Canadian Radio Music Award for "Best New Solo Artist" (Dance Urban Rhythmic) – Nominated[52]
  • Canadian Radio Music Award for "Best New Solo Artist" (CHR) – Won[52]


  • Canadian Urban Music Award for Best New Artist – Won
  • Canadian Urban Music Award for Video Of The Year for "Bad Boy" – Won
  • Canadian Urban Music Award for Fans Choice – Won
  • Rising Star Award for Rising Star of the Year – Won
  • MuchMusic Video Award for "Best R&B Video" for "Does He Love Me?" – Nominated


  • Juno Award for "R&B/Soul Recording Of The Year" – Won[53]
  • Canadian Urban Music Award for "Video Of The Year" for "Does He Love Me?" – Won
  • MuchMusic Video Award for "People's Choice: Favorite Canadian Artist" – Nominated
  • MuchMusic Video Award for "Best Pop Video" for "Does He Love Me?" – Nominated
  • Juno Award for "New Artist of the Year" – Nominated


  • Juno Award for "R&B/SOUL Recording Of The Year" for "Been Gone" – Nominated


  • Juno Award for "R&B/SOUL Recording Of The Year" for "2U" – Nominated


  • Juno Award for "Dance Recording Of The Year" for "Table Dancer" – Nominated
  • Juno Award for "R&B/SOUL Recording Of The Year" for "Test Drive" – Nominated



See also[edit]

  • List of Keshia Chanté songs


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  5. ^ 2/12/09. "Keshia Chante | Music Videos, News, Photos, Tour Dates, Ringtones, and Lyrics". MTV. Retrieved 2010-07-18. 
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  12. ^ Keshia Chante ready to heat up Ottawa, An Marie McQueen, Ottawa Sun
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  40. ^ a b Olsen, Michelle (2008-12-18). "Keshia Chante to play Aaliyah in biopic". National Post. Retrieved 2009-12-08. 
  41. ^ Saxberg, Lynn (Feb 10, 2009). "National Post". Retrieved 2010-07-18. [dead link]
  42. ^ "CANADA: Alicia Keys, Stephen Lewis Push for AIDS Awareness". 2004-12-01. Retrieved 2010-07-18. 
  43. ^ "CTV Toronto – Alicia Keys lends voice to AIDS fight – CTV News, Shows and Sports – Canadian Television". Retrieved 2010-07-18. 
  44. ^ "More Celebrities That Support World Vision". Retrieved 2010-07-18. 
  45. ^ "Singer Keisha Chante Visits Dominican Republic In Support Of World Vision's 30-Hour Famine – CityNews". 2008-03-14. Retrieved 2010-07-18. 
  46. ^ Tara Merrin (2007-03-01). "CANOE – JAM! Music – Artists – Chante, Keshia: Keshia Chante gives teens hope". Retrieved 2010-07-18. 
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  50. ^ "Drake Talks Young Love with Keshia Chanté". 2009-05-20. Retrieved 2013-09-29. 
  51. ^ Baker, Ernest; Osei, Anthony (2011-11-18). "Drake's 10 Hottest Hook-Ups". Retrieved 2013-09-29. 
  52. ^ a b [3] Archived January 10, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
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External links[edit]