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Keke Palmer Biography

Last updated: 12/22/2013 07:27:59 AM

Born Lauren Keyana Palmer, in Robbins, Illinois, (a small town 20 miles south of Chicago). Palmer showed vocal promise as a five-year-old when she belted out, "Jesus Loves Me" in her church choir. A year later, the singer /actress had a solo in her kindergarten play, but to her mom's dismay the mic had not been adjusted to suit her daughter's height. Without missing a beat, Palmer lowered the mic and moved the crowd with her heavenly voice. At that very moment, her family knew there was something special about Keke (a nickname given to her by her sister).

Although music was still her passion, Palmer first big break came via her acting skills, making her big screen debut in the 2004 "Barbershop 2: Back in Business", as Queen Latifah's niece. Immediately recognizing her star potential, the film's producers encouraged Palmer's parents to take their daughter to California to explore other acting opportunities. Relocating required that Palmer's parents leave behind the security of their jobs, a newly purchased home and uproot their other three children. However, it didn't diminish the family's support of Palmer's aspirations.

Once settled on the West Coast, Palmer did not waste any time. Within six weeks she had booked an episode of the critically acclaimed CBS Show, "Cold Case", booked a national K-Mart commercial, and was chosen from a nationwide search to play opposite William H. Macy in a TNT movie. Palmer's performance in, Wool Cap, was so amazing that it earned her a Screen Actors Guild Nomination, to date, she is the youngest actress, (then at age ten), ever to receive a nomination in a Lead Actress Category.

In 2006, Palmer appeared as the lead character, Akeelah Anderson in the critically acclaimed award-winning film "Akeelah and the Bee". The film, about young South Los Angeles girl who attempts to win a national spelling bee, won the hearts of audiences everywhere. Keke held her own, in scenes with acting veteran co-stars Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne. That very same year, Palmer appeared in Tyler Perry's, Medea's Family Reunion, which was number #1 at the box office for two consecutive weeks!

Palmer went on to win a 2007 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture for her breakout role in, Akeelah and the Bee. She also received a ShoWest Award for, "Rising Star of the Year". Shortly after, Palmer lit up the small screen starring in the Disney Channel #1 hit movie "Jump In". This one-two punch of big screen success coupled with small screen ratings power made Keke Palmer a househould name in Hollywood.

Palmer contributed her first recording to the "Akeelah and the Bee" soundtrack entitled "All My Girlz" and followed it up with the ever popular "My Turn Now" on the Jump In Disney Channel Movie soundtrack. As if two soundtracks were not enough, she was also asked to sing "Tonight", an end title song from the smash hit Ben Stiller movie "Night at the Museum".

Her Atlantic Records debut album, entitled "So Uncool", is jammed with uptempo R&B tracks, inspirational moments, and love songs.

Look for her next in the feature film Cleaner, co-starring with Samuel L. Jackson, Eva Mendez and Ed Harris. Her single Footworkin hits stores in July 2007, her album So Uncool, hits stores September 2007.