The Full Wiki

Keke Wyatt: Wikis

  
  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

KeKe Wyatt
Birth name Ketara Shavon Wyatt
Born March 10, 1982 (1982-03-10) (age 28)
Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Genres Contemporary R&B, Pop, Soul, Gospel
Occupations singer, actress
Years active 2001 - present (solo)
1990-2000 (collaborative)
Labels MCA (2001-2004), Cash Money/Universal (2004-2006)
TVT (2006-2008), Shanachie (2009 - present)
Associated acts Avant, The Dollz, Ginuwine, Kanye West, Blackalicious, Lateef The Truth Speaker, Randy Jackson
Website KekeWyattMusic.com

KeKe Wyatt (born Ketara Shavon Wyatt, March 10, 1982)[1] is a multi-talented American R&B recording artist. She became popular after a highly successful collaboration with R&B singer Avant on his platinum album My Thoughts.[2] This led to her debut Certified Gold album Soul Sista in 2001, and a promising solo career with MCA Records.

Contents

Biography

Born in Indianapolis, Indiana to Lorna Wyatt, a vocalist, and Keever Wyatt II, an organist/vocalist, Ketara Wyatt (who goes by her nickname Keke) hails from a musical family rooted in church music.[1][3] Despite the family's religious background, the singer's parents exposed her to R&B at home encouraging her to pursue secular music.[4] This musical household cultivated a singer with the ability to perform several genres of music that include gospel, R&B, pop, country and opera. Subsequently, Keke can write music equally as well.

Belonging to a family of regular church musicians, Wyatt began singing at the age of two. By age five Keke made her first performance in front of a live audience. The song she performed, entitled "Beautiful"[5], was taught to her by her mother. The young singer later performed a song she learned from her father, entitled "How Beautiful".[4] Growing up in Indianapolis, spending time in both Kentucky and Texas, Wyatt became influenced by the likes of Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway and Ella Fitzgerald.[4] Inspired by many preceding musical greats, Wyatt would sing with various girl groups as a teen.[2] As a young girl and teen Keke was often recognized for possessing a level of maturity that exceeded her in age.[1] She attended high school in Indianapolis where she was a member of her high school's varsity wrestling team.[6][7]

Career

Early years

Her professional career began at age ten, recording the song "What If" on a gospel compilation album for Indianapolis based R.H. Duncan. With growing buzz surrounding the little girl who could sing, news of Wyatt's talent would lead to a long line of encounters with people like Bill Woodson, Nathan Alexander, Billy Badd, Chris Kelly, and Emmanuel Officer.[2]

During adolescence Keke Wyatt became a student of Chicago-based producer/songwriter Steve "Stone" Huff [2], famous for his work with the Isley Brothers, the artist Joe of "Things Your Man Won't Do" fame, Avant, and other successful R&B artists. Huff eventually produced and shopped a few demos for the singer in hopes of landing her a record deal.[2][3] During her mid-teens she performed demo songs for various gospel labels, earning $1,500 per recording. Keke wrote the majority of the lyrics for a hit song of which the title, recording label and name of the performing artist is unknown. As a minor she began paying her dues early on when she experienced one of her first coldly dealt disappointments as a music industry professional, she would not receive credit for her work.[1]

'Soul Sista' & Controversy

At age eighteen Wyatt recorded the song My First Love with Avant, which eventually turned into a single, on the MCA Records label for his album entitled My Thoughts. Wyatt gained much notoriety for the remake of the lush 1980s ballad by Rene & Angela. The single was released two years after being recorded. Its success, remaining on the Top 10 for several weeks, resulted in a solo album contract with MCA Records. With the help of the late MCA Record executive Louil Silas, her friend and A&R Randy Jackson (of American Idol fame who she met at age twelve[5]) and former Boyz II Men manager Quadri El Amin, Wyatt recorded her first album in only two weeks time.

Unfortunately, her first single, Used to Love went virtually unnoticed. However the follow-up Nothing in This World, her second duet with Avant, became a huge smash single. Incidentally, controversy surrounding accusations in a domestic dispute between Wyatt and her husband/manager helped propel her debut album Soul Sista into gold-certified status. The album held the Top 5 position for several weeks and sold more than one million copies reaching audiences in Japan, Korea and Europe.[1] The video for her third single, I Don't Wanna, features her former real-life spouse, Rahmat Morton, playing her husband as well as their son in the beginning intro.

Album/Label Problems

By 2004, Keke Wyatt departed from MCA Records and signed with Cash Money Records/Universal Motown Records under the management of Cassandra Ware. Rahmat Morton, Wyatt's spouse and long-time road manager, negotiated the contract.[5] Her second album Emotional Rollercoaster was originally set for release on May 31, 2005, but the release date was later pushed back to early 2006. The set's first single, Put Your Hands on Me, became the #1 most added urban track to radio in April 2005. However, the single failed to chart or gain radio airplay, and her album was subsequently shelved.

Songs slated to appear on her second album included the first single Put Your Hands On Me, Look at What You Made Me Do, Insecurity (written by Bryan Michael Cox), My Man, Six Questions (featuring Avant), Cheaters, Who Knows (written by R&B singer Tank), Peace On Earth (remake of a Rachelle Ferrell single), and the title track (featuring Ginuwine).

Late 2006 saw the release of Wyatt from her contract with Cash Money Records, the singer citing management as the reason for her departure.[5] She then signed with TVT Records, reuniting with her former manager Quadri El Amin. Work on her TVT Records debut, Ghetto Rose was completed in 2007. The title track was the set's lead single, which was released to Urban radio outlets late August/early September. Ghetto Rose was written by veteran song writer Franne Golde, Kasey Livingston and Curt Schneider. Golde is known for her work with The Commodores; she also wrote Stickwitu with Livingston for the Pussycat Dolls. The album was originally set to be released on October 23, 2007, but was later pushed back to early 2008. However, in February 2008, Wyatt's record label (TVT Records) filed for bankruptcy [1]. TVT Records founder and president Steve Gottlieb reported - "This is not the end of TVT." For the second time, the release of Wyatt's album was ultimately shelved by the record label.[8]

Current Projects

In 2010, Wyatt released the single Who Knew? which served as the title track for her album, released on February 23, 2010. General Manager and head of A&R, Randal Grass, of Wyatt's new record label Shanachie Entertainment stated :

She is one of the outstanding singers of her generation and is recognized as a true singer.[8]

Additionally, in an interview with UrbanBridgez.com she has said that her and Avant are in works for their long-awaited duets album.

Theatre

In 2009 Wyatt played a leading role in a United States based nationally touring production entitled "Love Over Board". The production also included many seasoned cast members such as actress Karen Malina White, singer Avant, actor Khalil Kain, actor Carl Payne and funny man Miguel Nunez Jr.

Discography

Vocal profile

  • Voice type: Mezzo-soprano
  • Highest note: C6
  • Lowest note: D3
  • Vocal Range: D3-C6

Awards and nominations

2002 Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards

  • Nominated: Best R&B/soul or rap new artist
"Nothing in This World," Keke Wyatt featuring Avant

Interviews

Personal life

Wyatt is a mother of three through her seven year marriage to Rahmat Morton. Eleven years her senior, he is her former road manager whom she married at age eighteen. In 2009 Wyatt reported that she was in the process of divorcing Morton.[8]

The singer has two younger brothers who also work as entertainers. Keever Wyatt, III is an R&B/Hip-Hop artist. Kendall Wyatt is a writer for the Christian Music industry.[1]

Cultural heritage

Wyatt is bi-racial, and has a diverse background. In addition to identifying as a person of mixed race, Wyatt synonymously identifies with the Black community.[1]

Wyatt's maternal grandfather and grandmother are both white. Together her maternal grandparents had eight children, including Keke's mother - Lorna Wyatt. After divorcing her first husband, Keke's maternal grandmother married an African-American with whom she bore one child named Tony, Keke's biracial uncle. Wyatt's eight (8) aunts and uncles from her maternal grandmother's first marriage were rejected by her maternal grandfather and his family.[9] However they were embraced by Wyatt's maternal step-grandfather's family which resulted in them being raised in an African-American household.[1][5] In addition to her mother's and maternal grandmother's interracial marriage, two of Wyatt's maternal aunts also married African American men.

Wyatt's father, who is Black identified despite his multi-racial heritage, has ancestral roots in the West Indies, a region recognized for having a, now, native population that consists of varying degrees of mixed racial/ethnic ancestries. The singer's paternal grandmother is part Cherokee.[5] [6] Despite being born to parents from different racial backgrounds, Keke Wyatt was raised exclusively in an African-American household and community setting. Growing up the singer had little to no interaction with whites outside of those related to her.[9]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Byrd, Kenya N. (August 2007), "No More Drama: Keke Wyatt on Her Music and Marriage", Essence Magazine (Chicago) 35 (47), http://www.essence.com/essence/themix/entertainment/0,16109,1655584,00.html .
  2. ^ a b c d e Henderson, Alex (2001), Keke Wyatt, Billboard and All Music Guide, http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/bio/index.jsp?pid=446767 
  3. ^ a b Sanders, J. Victoria (2001), Pop Matters Music Review: Keke Wyatt, Soul Sista, http://www.popmatters.com/music/reviews/w/wyattkeke-soul.shtml 
  4. ^ a b c Ison, Jason (December 2, 2001), KeKe's talkin' 'bout love, http://media.www.nineronline.com/media/storage/paper971/news/2001/12/02/Entertainment/Kekes.Talkin.bout.Love-2002734.shtml?sourcedomain=www.nineronline.com&MIIHost=media.collegepublisher.com, retrieved 2007-09-23 
  5. ^ a b c d e f Terrell, Calvin (October 2007), "Giving it to ya straight, no chaser: Keke Wyatt", Sister2Sister Magazine (Washington, DC), http://www.s2smagazine.com/content/content.asp?issueid=200710&listid=14 .
  6. ^ a b IMDB (2008). [http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1242523/bio "Biography for Keke Wyatt"]. IMDB. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1242523/bio. Retrieved 2008-03-14. 
  7. ^ Wyatt, Keke (September 10, 2007), 9/10/2007 Blog Entry, New York, NY: TVT Records, http://www.kekewyattmusic.com .
  8. ^ a b c Richburg, Chris (December 15, 2009), "Nee Kee Wyatt Song Strikes Personal Chord: Divorce looming as singer prepares to release 1st new album after eight year absence.", Eurweb.com (Los Angeles, CA), http://www.eurweb.com/story/eur58061.cfm .
  9. ^ a b Lee, Bailey (September 25, 2007), LISTEN TO THE KEKE WYATT EURCAST: Hear the singer denounce article on her at Essence.com, Los Angeles, CA: EURweb.com (narrated by Cherie Saunders)., http://www.eurweb.com/story/eur37064.cfm .

External links








Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message