Keke Palmer

Lauren Keyana "Keke" Palmer (born August 26, 1993) is an American actress, singer, and television personality. Palmer made her acting debut in the film Barbershop 2: Back in Business (2004), and soon received recognition for her starring role in Akeelah and the Bee (2006), for which she won a Chicago Film Critics Association Award and a Young Artist Award. Her career progressed with roles in the films Madea's Family Reunion (2006), The Longshots (2008), and Shrink (2009), as well as the television films The Wool Cap (2004) and Jump In! (2007), earning a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for her performance in The Wool Cap.

Keke Palmer
Keke-palmer-strahan-and-sara-show-regular-reactions-1564681160.jpg
Palmer in 2017
Born
Lauren Keyana Palmer

(1993-08-26) August 26, 1993 (age 27)
Occupation
  • Actress
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • television personality
Years active2004–present
Musical career
Genres
Instruments
  • Vocals
  • piano
Labels
Associated actsSean Garrett
Websitekekepalmer.com

Palmer released her debut studio album, So Uncool, in 2007 through Atlantic Records. She received recognition for portraying the titular character in the sitcom True Jackson, VP (2008–2011), for which she won four NAACP Image Awards and two BET Awards. She also voiced Aisha in the Nickelodeon revival of Winx Club (2011–2015), for which she received another NAACP Image Award nomination. Palmer has since continued her work in television, including the horror comedy series Scream Queens (2015–2016) and the slasher series Scream (2019), as well as films such as Rags (2012), Joyful Noise (2012), and Ice Age: Continental Drift (2012), Animal (2014), and Hustlers (2019).

In 2019, Palmer became co-host of daytime talk show Strahan, Sara and Keke alongside Sara Haines and Michael Strahan, for which she received a Daytime Emmy Award nomination in 2020. That same year, she released her third extended play, Virgo Tendencies, Pt. 1.

Early lifeEdit

Lauren Keyana Palmer was born on August 26, 1993,[1][2] in Harvey, Illinois.[3] She grew up in a Christian household.[4] 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 children who are autistic.[5][6] 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.[5]

CareerEdit

2004–2011: Early work and breakthroughEdit

 
Palmer performing in March 2008

In 2004, she gained her first film role in Barbershop 2: Back in Business, in which she played the niece of rapper and actress Queen Latifah. In 2005, Palmer signed a record deal with Atlantic Records. That same year, she was featured in the television film Knights of the South Bronx, as well as starring in the television series Second Time Around and ER. That same year, producer Ralph Farquhar helped Palmer book the starring role in a Disney Channel pilot titled Keke and Jamal alongside André Jamal Kinney, Vanessa Hudgens, Max Van Ville, and Earl Billings. The pilot was not picked up, and never aired.[7]

In 2006, Palmer had her acting breakthrough starring in the film Akeelah and the Bee, playing the titular Akeelah, a bright 11-year-old who comes from a poor neighborhood and competes in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.[8] Moira Macdonald of The Seattle Times wrote that Palmer "makes an appealing heroine".[9] For the role, she won a Black Reel Award and an NAACP Image Award.[10][11] She also had a supporting role in the 2006 film Madea's Family Reunion.[12] The following year, Palmer appeared in the thriller Cleaner alongside Samuel L. Jackson and Eva Mendes.[13] She portrayed a lead role in the television film Jump In! along with American actor Corbin Bleu.[14] 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.[15] The album charted at number 86 on the US Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.[16]

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.[17] In July 2009, designer Jane Siskin created a Walmart fashion line inspired by True Jackson, VP, with all the designs being approved by Palmer.[18] She also played the lead role in the 2008 film The Longshots, along with Ice Cube.[19] True Jackson, VP ended in 2011.[20] Also in 2011, Palmer debuted as the voice of Aisha in Nickelodeon's revival of Winx Club.[21] She received an NAACP Image Award nomination for her voiceover work.[22]

2012–2018: Further music and acting careerEdit

 
Palmer at the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con

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 television musical film, as well as voiced Peaches in Ice Age: Continental Drift.[23] In July 2012, Palmer released the single "You Got Me" featuring Kevin McCall. The video for the single was released on July 11, 2012.[24] She released a self-titled mixtape Keke Palmer on October 1, 2012.[25] In 2013, Palmer portrayed Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas in the TLC biopic, CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story,[26] which aired in October on VH1.[27]

Palmer starred in the horror film Animal, co-starring Elizabeth Gilles, Jeremy Sumpter, and Eve; it was released on June 17, 2014.[28] She then recurred during the second season of Showtime's drama series Masters of Sex, portraying Coral, a nanny.[29] That same year, Palmer hosted a daytime talk show on BET titled Just Keke.[30] In doing so, she became the youngest talk show host in television history; the show itself has been regarded as "groundbreaking" and "refreshing".[31] In September 2014, Palmer became the first African-American to star as the title character in the musical Cinderella on Broadway.[32] She performed her final show during the closing night of the show's run on January 4, 2015.[33] Later that year, Palmer announced that she had signed with Island Records.[34]

Between September 2015 and December 2016, she starred as Zayday Williams in the horror comedy series Scream Queens, created by Ryan Murphy.[35] In January 2016, Palmed starred as Marty Maraschino along with Vanessa Hudgens, Julianne Hough, and Aaron Tveit in the television special Grease: Live.[36] Rolling Stone's Britany Spanos regarded Palmer's performance "a standout" and highlighted her "assertiveness, confidence and biting sense of humor."[37] In June, Palmer released Waited to Exhale, an album she wrote during her time on True Jackson, VP that went unreleased due to label issues and her "anxiety-driven hesitance".[38] On November 4, Palmer released her second extended play, titled Lauren, with a 17-minute short film of the same name being released exclusively on Billboard's website.[39] In 2017, Palmer released her memoir, I Don’t Belong to You: Quiet the Noise and Find Your Voice.[40] That same year, she joined the drama series Berlin Station during its second season.[41]

2019–present: Television hosting and current workEdit

In April 2019, Palmer began guest co-hosting ABC's daytime talk show Strahan and Sara, sporadically filling in for co-host Michael Strahan and more regularly beginning in June during co-host Sara Haines' maternity leave.[42] She joined the slasher television series Scream as a series regular in its third season, portraying a character named Kym,[43] which premiered on July 8, 2019.[44] On August 26, Palmer became a third permanent co-host of Strahan and Sara, which was then re-titled Strahan, Sara and Keke.[45] In September, Palmer starred as a "lovestruck stripper" in the crime drama film Hustlers, directed by Lorene Scafaria.[46] She sang the song "Giants" as part of a virtual group named True Damage, in which she voices a character named Senna, in the video game League of Legends for the 2019 World Championship.[47] The song features singers Becky G and Soyeon as well as rappers Duckwrth and Thutmose as the other group members.[48] In November, True Damage performed the song live during the opening ceremony of the finals.[49]

Strahan, Sara and Keke was taken off the air in March 2020.[50] Palmer later received a Daytime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Entertainment Talk Show Host alongside Haines and Strahan.[51] That same year, she began starring in a web television comedy series titled Turnt Up with the Taylors, in which Palmer portrays all of the characters.[52] She released an extended play titled Virgo Tendencies, Pt. 1 on August 28.[53] On August 30, Palmer hosted the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards, during which she also performed her song "Snack".[54][55]

Public imageEdit

 
Palmer at PaleyFest in 2016

ArtistryEdit

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".[56] Palmer was heavily influenced by American R&B singers Ciara, Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, Aaliyah, Brandy, Mary J. Blige, Whitney Houston, as well as girl group TLC.[57] Among her urban influences, Palmer also cites pop artists Gwen Stefani and Avril Lavigne as influences.[58]

Philanthropy and activismEdit

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.[59] She has worked with such charities as the YWCA and with Saving Our Daughters.[59] As of 2010, Palmer has been a representative for the Saving Our Daughters project, an anti-bullying campaign.[60]

Palmer was included in the Time's 100 Next list in November 2019,[61] which "spotlights 100 rising stars who are shaping the future of business, entertainment, sports, politics, science, health and more."[62] She is a supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement.[63] In 2020, she marched in Hollywood, California, as part of the George Floyd protests.[64] That same year, she addressed the movement during her opening monologue at the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards.[65]

Personal lifeEdit

Following the release of her single "I Don't Belong to You" on October 25, 2015, Palmer explained: "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."[66]

Palmer has struggled with anxiety and depression.[67] In 2019, as part of the #YouKnowMe campaign, she shared via Twitter that she had had an abortion.[68]

Palmer announced that she had been dealing with Polycystic ovary syndrome her entire life on December 1, 2020.[citation needed]

FilmographyEdit

FilmsEdit

Year Title Role Notes
2004 Barbershop 2: Back in Business Gina's niece
2006 Akeelah and the Bee Akeelah Anderson
Madea's Family Reunion Nikki Grady
2007 Cleaner Rose Cutler
Jump In! Mary Thomas TV movie
2008 The Longshots Jasmine Plummer
Unstable Fables: Tortoise vs. Hare Crystal Tortoise Voice
2009 Shrink Jemma
2012 Winx Club: The Secret of the Lost Kingdom Aisha Voice
Joyful Noise Olivia Hill
Ice Age: Continental Drift Peaches Voice
2013 Curdled Tara Short film
Winx Club 3D: Magical Adventure Aisha Voice
2014 Imperial Dreams Samaara
Animal Alissa
2015 Brotherly Love Jackie
2016 Ice Age: Collision Course Peaches Voice
2018 Pimp Wednesday
2019 Hustlers Mercedes
2020 2 Minutes of Fame Sky
TBA Alice Alice Filming

TelevisionEdit

Year Title Role Notes
2004 Cold Case Arletta Marion in 1939 Episode: "The Letter"
2004 Strong Medicine Sarina Episode: "Healing Touch"
2004 The Wool Cap Lou Television film
2005 Knights of the South Bronx Kenya Russell Television film
2005 Second Time Around Sharlene Episode: "Big Bank, Little Bank"
2005 ER Janell Parkerson Episode: "The Show Must Go On"
2005 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Tasha Wright Episode: "Storm"
2007 Tyler Perry's House of Payne Nikki Episode: "Bully and the Beast"
2007 Just Jordan C.C. Livingston Episode: "Fame Game
2007 Jump In! Mary Thomas Television film
2008–2011 True Jackson, VP True Jackson Lead role
2010 The Cleveland Show Candice Voice; Episode: "Harder, Better, Faster, Browner"
2011–2014 Winx Club Aisha (voice) 105 episodes
Main role (Season 36)[21]
2011 Degrassi: The Next Generation Herself Episode: "Boom Boom Pow: Parts 1 & 2"
2012 Rags Kadee Worth Television film
2012 Abducted: The Carlina White Story Carlina White Television film
2013 Key & Peele Malia Obama's anger 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's Anatomy Cheryl Episode: "We Gotta Get Out of This Place"[69]
2014 Family Guy Pam Voice; 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 Ice Age: The Great Egg-Scapade Peaches Voice; Television special
2016 Bubble Guppies Stylee Voice; Episode: "Guppy Style!"[70]
2016 Grease: Live Marty Maraschino Television special
2016 Project Mc2 Nov8 Agent Episode: "Bye Bye Birdie"
Episode: "Mission Totally Possible"[71][72]
2016 Real Husbands of Hollywood[73] Herself Episode: "The Suitor"
2017–2019 Star Gigi Nixon Recurring role (seasons 2–3)
2017–2019 Berlin Station[74] April Lewis Main role (seasons 2–3)
2019–2020 Strahan, Sara and Keke Herself (co-host) Lead role
2019 Scream[43] Kym Main role (Season 3)
2020 The Disney Family Singalong: Volume II Herself Television special
2020 Singled Out Herself (host) Lead role
2020 MTV Video Music Awards Herself (host)
2020 Nickelodeon's Unfiltered Herself Episode: "Honey Bears Chew Gumballs!"
TBA The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder Maya Leibowitz-Jenkins Voice

InternetEdit

Year Title Role Notes
2017 That's the Gag[75] Keke Smith Lead role
2018 Good Mythical Morning Herself Guest Role, S 13 ep. 38
2020 Turnt Up with the Taylors The Taylors Lead role
2020 VMA's 2020 Advertisement True Jackson

StageEdit

Year Title Role Notes
2014–15 Cinderella Ella Broadway musical

DiscographyEdit

Studio albumsEdit

Extended playsEdit

Concert toursEdit

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Work 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
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
BTVA Feature Film Voice Acting Award Best Vocal Ensemble in a Feature Film (shared with Ice Age Cast) Ice Age: Continental Drift
BET Awards Youngstars Awards Keke Palmer
Chief Keef-"Keke Palmer" Dedication
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
BET Awards Youngstars Awards[78] Keke Palmer Won
2015 NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special[79] The Trip To Bountiful Nominated
Spirit of the League Awards Gala Spirit Of The League Champion Award[80] · [81] Philanthropy Won
2016 NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture[82] · [83] Brotherly Love Nominated
2020 Shorty Awards Best Celebrity Herself Nominated
Daytime Emmy Award Outstanding Entertainment Talk Show Host Herself Nominated

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