Raised in a musical household, Keke Wyatt had the vocal talent and charisma to be a child star. She first recorded professionally at the age of ten on a gospel compilation album for Indianapolis based R. H. Duncan. In the years after that she gained the interest of a number of people in and around the music industry, but it wasn’t until the age of 18 when she recorded a duet with Avant that she achieved national attention. Their cover of Rene and Angela’s hit “My First Love” became an even bigger hit when performed by Avant and Wyatt and led to Keke signing a recording contract with MCA Records.
The story of Keke Wyatt from that point until today doesn’t include a string of number one hits or multiplatinum albums that you would expect from someone with her level of talent. A review of her videos shows that the music had the potential to make her a star. But early in her career a domestic violence incident that resulted in Wyatt stabbing her husband in self defense began a string of mishaps that damaged the image and potential of this rising star.
Although her debut album on MCA entitled “Soul Sista” achieved gold certification, it was her only album for that label. Her second and third albums, recorded on the Cash Money and TVT labels, were never released. Lack of continuity and label support combined with the image problems of being labeled as “a woman who stabbed her husband” and misunderstood statements about her multiracial upbringing took the focus away from what really matters…her talent and her music.
With the release of her fourth studio album entitled “Who Knew” on her fourth record label Shanachie Entertainment, Keke Wyatt has pushed her ex-husband and misunderstood image out of the spotlight to put the focus back where it belongs. This is shown most brilliantly in her rendition of “Peace on Earth” which offers the listener a beautiful and powerful vocal performance of a message that speaks to the souls of other women who have experienced domestic violence by asking “where does this peace on earth begin, if not in the home?” The featured song “Who Knew” begins with the line “I’m sure you heard the rumors about me” and then goes on to remind us we could be missing out on enjoying special people in our lives if we don’t ignore rumors and focus on what we really find out about a person…and what you’ll find out when you listen to this album is that despite the ups and downs Keke Wyatt is still a rising star.
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KiKi Miller is a songwriter, playwriter and R&B music advocate. She currently hosts the KiKi Miller Report on World Vibe Radio (www.worldvibe.com)