“Being young, you have to be really dedicated to doing it for yourself. There's a lot of trials and tribulations you have to go through to get what you want, especially if you feel like it belongs to you.” Keyshia Cole
Grammy nominated and multi platinum selling R&B singer/songwriter Keyshia Cole was shot to fame with her first album, “The Way It Is” (2005). Spawning such hits as “I Changed My Mind,” “(I Just Want It) To Be Over,” “I Should Have Cheated” and the ASCAP winning “Love,” the album rose to No. 6 and No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, respectively, and went platinum within 25 weeks of its release. The Oakland, California, native acquired even more recognition and popularity with her sophomore platinum album “Just Like You” (2007). A chart topper on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and a runner up on the Billboard 200, the album brought Cole Grammy nominations for Best Contemporary R&B Album, Best Rap/Sung Collaboration (for “Let It Get”), Best R&B Song, and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance (for “Heaven Sent”). Her third album, “A Different Me” (2008), has been certified gold by RIAA. Cole has been featured in other hip hop artists' songs such as C-Side's “Boyfriend/Girlfriend,” Trina's “I Got a Thang for You” and The Game's “Game's Pain.”
Cole has enjoyed success on the small screen as the star of BET's hit reality show, “Keyshia Cole: The Way It Is” (2006-2009). She has also guest starred in such television series as “The Tyra Banks Show,” “Late Show with David Letterman,” “Good Morning America,” “The View,” and “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” She also appeared in the Sundance premiered “How She Move” (2007), a drama directed by Ian Iqbal Rashid and written by Annmarie Morais.
As We Lay
Childhood and Family:
Keyshia Cole was born on October 15, 1981, in Oakland, California, to a woman named Frankie. Shortly thereafter, she was adopted by Yvonne Cole. She has a brother named Sean Cole who was best friends with Tupac Shakur. Keyshia was very close to the rapper (deceased) and considered him an older brother.
A born entertainer, Keyshia knew she wanted to make music and began singing at age 6. One of the first songs she sang as a little girl was Shirley Murdock's “As We Lay.” By age 12, the gifted singer had worked as a backup vocalist for fellow Bay Area artist M.C. Hammer. Keyshia moved to Los Angeles to find more opportunities when she was 16 years old.
Keyshia has two dogs, Lola and Lyric.
Let It Go
Keyshia Cole got her career start by singing backup for rapper M.C. Hammer, Messy Marv's “Nubian Queen” remix, and Dwayne Wiggins. Arriving in Los Angeles at age 16, Cole immediately made an impression with her voice and eventually scored a recording deal with A&M Records in 2004. Her debut album, “The Way It Is.” was launched on June 21, 2005. Produced by Kanye West, A&M Record president Ron Fair, and veteran producer E-Poppi, the R&B/Hip Hop album debuted at No. 6 on the U.S. Billboard 200 and sold over 90,000 pieces during the first week of release. Within 17 weeks, it went gold and received platinum certification eight weeks later. “The Way It Is” also peaked at No. 2 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums.
The debut single “Never” was released on March 23, 2004. The song “Eve” was used on the soundtrack for the 2004 comedy film “Barbershop 2: Back in Business,” starring Ice Cube. Released on November 9, 2004, “I Changed My Mind,” which she wrote with John Legend, became her first official single from “The Way It Is.” The song rose to No. 71 on the Billboard Hot 100 and fared better on the R&B charts, where it hit the Top 23. The second single, “(I Just Want It) To Be Over,” which was co-written by Cole, Kerry Brothers Jr. and Lady L, also enjoyed success on the charts.
Cole scored a platinum single with the third single, “I Should Have Cheated.” Released on August 3, 2005, the song hit the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 30 and rose to No. 4 on the Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. It also charted on the U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play at No. 11.
The R&B singer achieved even more success with the forth single, “Love” (2006), which she wrote with G. Curtis. Debuting at No. 82 on the Billboard Hot 100, the single rose toward the top 50 in its second week and eventually reached No. 19. “Love” also charted on the U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs at No. 3 and the U.S. Billboard Pop 100 at No. 54.
Apart from the U.S., “The Way It Is” was also released in Japan, Canada, the United Kingdom, Brazil and Spain. For her work on the album, Cole was handed the Next Award at the 2005 Vibe Awards and a 2008 ASCAP for Best R&B/Hip Hop Song (“Love”). She also picked up several nominations, including a 2005 NAACP Image nomination for Best New Artist, BET nominations for Best Female R&B Artist & Viewer's Choice, Soul Train nominations for Best Female R&B/Soul Single & Best Female R&B/Soul Album, and a 2006 American Music nomination for Favorite Female Artist.
Lured by the success of her debut album, Cole was tapped to headline her own reality series, “Keyshia Cole: The Way It Is,” which debuted on BET on July 12, 2006. The show went on to become a hit for the network and has been renewed for a forth season, which is scheduled to begin airing in 2009.
Cole launched her second album, “Just Like You,” on September 25, 2007, on Geffen Records. The album entered at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and rose to the top position on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart. By the end of the year, it had been certified platinum by RIAA. “Just Like You” received a 2008 Grammy nomination in the category of Best Contemporary R&B Album.
The first single, “Let It Go” (2007), featuring Missy Elliott and Lil' Kim, rose to No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 and has sold more than a million pieces in the U.S. The song brought Cole a 2008 Grammy nomination for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration and a 2008 BET nomination for Best Collaboration. “Let It Go” also charted on the U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs at No.1, the U.S. Billboard Rhythmic Top 40 at No. 3, the U.S. Billboard Pop 100 at No.30 and the German Singles Chart at No. 72.
The second single, “Shoulda Let You Go,” followed in October 2007. Written by Cole and Darkchild, it rose to No. 6 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The final single from “Just Like You,” “Heaven Sent,” was launched on March 27, 2008, and rose to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. It stayed there for nine consecutive weeks. “Heaven Sent” was nominated for two Grammys in 2009 in the categories of Best R&B Song and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.
Cole's third studio album, “A Different Me,” hit the music stores on December 16, 2008. The album debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 after selling over 300,000 copies in its first week of release. As of May 2009, the album had sold over 860,000 units in the U.S., and received gold certification from RIAA. It peaked at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.
“Playa Cardz Right” (2008), the lead single from “A Different Me,” peaked at No. 63 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 9 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs chart. It was followed by the second single, “You Complete Me,” and the third single, “Trust,” in January 2009 and May 2009, respectively. “You Complete Me” debuted at No. 62 on the Billboard Hot 100 and at No. 7 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs. The ballad “Trust” charted on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs at No. 51.
In support of her new album, Cole embarked on the 2009 “A Different Me” tour. The tour also features The-Dream, Keri Hilson and Bobby Valentino. Previously, Cole served as an opening act for artists like R. Kelly (“Double Up Tour”) and Lil' Wayne (“I Am Music Tour”). When asked what fans can expect on the “A Different Me” tour, she said, “A lot more than what I did on the Lil' Wayne tour (in 2008). I have brand new band members, a new choreographer and new background singers that are all excellent, might I say. We have a couple of different parts to the show, which are going to be quite interesting. We're all just trying new things so it should be fun.”
A rising star, Cole has also made guest appearances on songs like “Boyfriend/Girlfriend” (2008), the second single from hip-hop group C-Side from their EP “Class in Session,” “I Got a Thang for You” (2008), the second single from rapper Trina from her forth album “Still da Baddes,” and the Game single “Game's Pain” (2009) from the album “LAX.” She was also featured in “Get Your Money Up,” Keri Hilson's song from her debut album “In a Perfect World.” (2009). Cole joined forces with many performers like Beyoncé Knowles, Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Rihanna, Carrie Underwood, Natasha Bedingfield and Miley Cyrus to perform the charity song “Just Stand Up” (2008), which raised funds for cancer research.
“I want to be an example for young people, especially growing up in the 'hood’ because it's already hard enough to not be focused, not to be trying to be doing something. It's really possible.” Keyshia Cole
Prince David 46 MySpace: Video of The Week (tied with Jonas Brothers), 2008
ASCAP: R&B/Hip Hop Song, “Love,” 2007
Vibe Award: Next Award (tied with Young Jeezy), 2005