8th World Wonder
“If ‘American Idol’ was the Olympics, I'd still get a medal. It was a great race.” Kimberley Locke
American pop/R&B singer, plus-size fashion model, TV personality and businesswoman Kimberley Locke shot to fame on the hit reality-show “American Idol 2” (2003), in which she finished third behind runner-up Clay Aiken and ultimate winner Ruben Studdard. Since then, she has released two solo albums, a Christmas album with seven Adult Contemporary Top 10 hits, including “8th World Wonder” (2003), “I Could” (2005), “Up on the House Top” (2005), “Jingle Bells” (2006) and “Frosty the Snowman” (2007). She received a New Music nomination in 2005 for Female Adult Contemporary Artist Of The Year and two Teen Choice nominations in 2003 and 2004 in the categories of Choice TV Reality/Variety Star-Female and Favorite Love Song (“8th World Wonder”), respectively. In 2007, Locke became the center of attention with her participation in the popular reality show “Celebrity Fit Club,” during which time she lost 27lbs. As a model, Locke has decorated several magazine covers and has been a spokesperson for Lane Bryant, Seven7 Jeans and Jenny Craig. On the business front, she co-owns the New York-based Croton Creek Steakhouse & Wine Bar.
5' 4” Locke has actively supported a number of charities, including raising awareness of breast cancer and HIV/AIDS. She spent 11 days in Africa with the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. Other organizations in which she has worked with include YouthAIDS, the Davy Foundation and Camp Heartland. For her extensive charitable efforts as an HIV/AIDS activist, Locke was honored with the Red Ribbon award on November 9, 2007.
“My aunt is a breast cancer survivor. So, as someone whose family has been directly touched by this disease, I'm very passionate about getting people talking more about their health.” Kimberley Locke
Locke has joined the General Mills’ Pink For A Cure campaign to boost awareness of breast cancer in the African American community.
Childhood and Family:
Kimberley Dawn Locke was born on January 3, 1978, in Hartsville, Tennessee. She is the daughter of Donald Locke, a truck driver, and Christine, who works for the Gap/Old Navy distribution center in Gallatin, Tennessee. When she was eight years old, her parents divorced. Kimberley has an older brother named Ashley.
Raised in Gallatin, Kimberley Locke, known by the nicknames K-Lo, Kimmy and Ms. Kim, attended Gallatin High School, in which she joined the performing arts, and after graduating, she moved to Nashville to work as an administrative assistant in a company. Kimberley holds a Bachelor's Degree of Business Administration in Marketing from Nashville's Belmont University.
Frosty the Snowman
“I want to keep singing, put out hits, and be around for years. I want to be around for a long time.” Kimberley Locke
Kimberley Locke began singing in church when she was five years old. Growing up, she idolized such singers as Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson, Pattie Labelle and Diana Ross. At age 9, she formed a quartet called Shadz of U with childhood friends Chandra Boone, Selina Robb and NaCole Rice, and they performed at many local churches. During high school, she participated in her school's performing group and was also chosen as a member of the All-Middle State Chorus twice. Locke went on to perform with local bands like Black Widow and The Imperials while pursuing her college career in Nashville. But in 2000, she decided to stop performing so that she could finish her undergraduate degree. Her sacrifice paid off when she landed a job as an administrative assistant in a Nashville company.
Locke was encouraged by her sister-in-law and other friends to try her luck at the reality-TV singing competition “American Idol.” Thanks to her exceptional talent, Locke finished third, behind the runner up Clay Aiken and eventual champion Ruben Studdard.
After leaving “American Idol,” Locke signed a record contract with Curb Records on September 6, 2003. Her debut album, “One Love,” was released on May 4, 2004, and went on to reach No. 16 on the U.S. Billboard 200. The first single, “8th World Wonder,” debuted at No. 49 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was successful in other charts, including the U.S. Top 40, It was followed with the singles “Wrong” (2004) and “I Could” (2005), which respectively became hits on the Pop and Adult Contemporary charts. “Coulda Been” (2005) was the only single of the album that failed to chart. Locke embarked on her first solo tour in support of her album in Springfield, Massachusetts, in October 2004.
Locke launched the version of “Up On The Housetop” in the fall of 2005, which quickly became a No. 1 hit on the Adult Contemporary charts. Her version of “Jingle Bells” followed the following year and enjoyed a similar success, topping the Adult Contemporary charts.
On May 1, 2007, Locke released her second album, “Based On A True Story.” The single “Change” earned good reviews from listeners and climbed to the Top 10. The singer enjoyed an even bigger triumph with her version of “Band Of Gold,” which was popularized by Freda Payne, when it became her sixth solo Adult Contemporary Top 10 hit.
Following the success of “Up On The Housetop” and “Jingle Bells,” Locke released a full Christmas album on November 6, 2007, simply titled “Christmas.” Like its predecessors, the single “Frosty the Snowman” also climbed the Adult Contemporary Charts, landing at No. 1. A new single from her second album called “Fall” is expected to be released in February 2008.
In addition to the music industry, her participation in “American Idol” has opened other doors for Locke, including television, modeling and a business career. In 2004 to 2006, she appeared in such shows as the TV special “Motown 45,” “The Saturday Show,” “Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” “The Tyra Banks Show” and “The Megan Mullally Show,” among others. In August 2004, Locke was invited to be a guest host on “Good Day Live,” and was invited back to co-host twice more. She also appeared on the game show “Family Feud,” as a contestant in 2005 and became a judge and co-host of the MTV short lived reality show competition “The Little Talent Show” in 2006. Locke served as co-host of “The View” in March 2007.
In an effort to become a television star, Locke also participated in the VHI popular reality-TV series “Celebrity Fit Club: Men vs. Women” in its fifth season in 2007. During the show, she shared a degree of notoriety as a result of her feud with fellow cast member Dustin Diamond. On June 17, 2007, on the show's season finale, it was revealed Locke had lost 27 pounds.
As a model, Locke was signed to the Ford Agency from 2005 through September 2006. She was seen on the cover of the July 2005 issue of “Figure” magazine and the summer 2007 issue of “UneQ” magazine. She is a plus-size model and former spokesperson for Seven7 Jeans and Lane Bryant, and once had a lingerie line with Cacique, a sister company of Lane Bryant. Locke penned a contract with Jenny Craig in December 2006. Also in December, the Belmont University graduate opened the Croton Creek Steakhouse & Wine Bar in Croton Falls, New York, along with partners Eric Kupferberg, Liam Harvey and Jim Stake.