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Kelis

Kelis Rogers was born in Harlem (New York). Her father Kenneth was a Jazz-musician and a pentecostal minister; her mother Eveliss was a fashion designer. Kelis is a combination of her black father's and Chinese/Puerto Rican mother's name.

The singer/songwritter sang as a child in church choirs and played violin, piano and saxophone while attending a private school. At age 13 she left home because her parents couldn't handle her anymore. She did still go to school, were she formed the R&B trio BLU (Black Ladies United). After graduation she formed a band with the Neptunes, and with their support a record deal was landed.

Her debut album Kalediscope was not an American success; though, its second single Caught Out There was a modest-sized urban and video hit in America. However, the entire album really took off in Europe, where all three singles, Caught Out There, Good Stuff and Get Along With You, were sizable hits. The album Wanderland was released two years later; it was exclusive to Europe and Asia, after its lead single, Young Fresh 'N New, failed to catch on in America; the video for Young Fresh 'N New barely registered on American MTV or VH1, but got pretty heavy play on MTV2.

Kelis, who had moved to Europe during her successful period there, returned to America where she met and fell in love with rapper Nas; the couple are currently engaged. She has since worked with a variety of musicians including Busta Rhymes, Foxy Brown, OutKast, P. Diddy and Enrique Iglesias.

Her most notable duets have been immensely popular singles and music videos, even in America: Got Your Money with Ol' Dirty Bastard, What It Is with Busta Rhymes, and Candy with Foxy Brown. Because of Kelis' featured status on those tracks, and because of her extremely versatile style, the general public likely never fully realized that several of the biggest hip-hop hits of the past five years have included vocals by Kelis, instead choosing to focus mainly on the rapper who had the lead roles in the hit songs.

Kelis finally did find mainstream success in America in 2004 with her #1 urban, #3 Hot 100 song, Milkshake; this helped to propel her album Tasty to the top of the charts. The album's second single, Trick Me, once again proved to be a smash at radio and video channels in Europe, though it did not enjoy success in America. Not In Love, Kelis & Enrique Iglesias' duet, off of Iglesias' album, was also released as a single in 2004 and failed to catch on in America, outside of the club charts.

It's been reported that Kelis' next single will be In Public, a raunchy and vulgar duet with her fiancee. While Trick Me continues to climb the charts in Europe, the more raw and urban-sounding In Public is being predicted as her best shot at repeating Milkshake's level of success in America.


Note: This profile was written in or before 2004.

Kelis Facts

Birth NameKelis Rogers
OccupationMusician
BirthdayAugust 21, 1980 (37)
SignLeo
BirthplaceHarlem, New York, USA
Height5' 10" (1m78)  How tall is Kelis compared to you?

Selected Filmography

Not available.