Who Is Keke Palmer? 6 Places You Know The New BET Host From
Keke Palmer is one of those actresses who just never really found their niche. Her first audition was when she was nine years old and went out for a stage production of The Lion King and since then Palmer has almost seemed to drift from place to place trying to find her magnum opus. For a lot of people, myself included, it seemed like she had peaked there at the start of her career and fell under the radar after that. However, Palmer has returned with a vengence thanks to BET. Palmer is attached to a daily talk show tentatively called The Keke Palmer Project, which will make her, at 20 years old, the youngest talk show host in history.
This comes as no real surprise to longtime fans. What she lacks in mainstream popularity, Palmer has more than made up for in sheer accomplishment. She had her first film role in 2004 and in ten years she has proven herself to be everything from an actress to a singer to an activist to a fashion designer. Before The Keke Palmer Project comes to television this summer, here's your crash course on the multitalented actress.
1. She's that girl from Akeela and the Bee.
Palmer got her first big break playing the title role in the 2006 film Akeelah and the Bee. It was about an 11 year old girl who participates in a national spelling bee while exploring issues of education in an underpriveleged African-American community. The movie was a critical success and got Palmer and the rest of the cast nominated for numerous awards. Palmer walked away with an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture, making her, at thirteen, the youngest person to win in that category. Last year, she played Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas in Crazy Sexy Cool: The TLC Story , which was the highest-rated television film premiere of 2013.
2. She's won six NAACP Image Awards.
The NAACP Image Award that she won for Akeelah and the Bee was actually her second. She won one in Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special for The Wool Cap in 2005. She also won one for Outstanding Performance in a Youth/Children's Series or Special in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 for her work on True Jackson, VP. She won two more in 2013 and another one in 2014, for Abducted: The Carlina White Story, Winx Club: Enchantix and CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story respectively.
3. She was a Disney Star.
Palmer starred alongside High School Musical star Corbin Bleu in another Disney Channel movie called Jump In! It featured Bleu as a boxer-in-training who is asked by his friend and crush, played by Palmer, to substitute for someone on her double dutch team. He discovers that he likes just as much as boxing, much to his overbearing father's chagrin. It was one of those Disney movies that was notable more for its soundtrack than anything else, although it did cause a brief resurgence of interest in jump rope. Double dutch had never looked cooler.
4. She was a Nickelodeon Star
Palmer then went on to star in True Jackson, VP, a Nickelodeon show that made her the fourth-highest paid child star on television in 2010. (She lost out to Two and a Half Men's Angus T. Jones, iCarly's Miranda Cosgrove, Wizards of Waverly Place's Selena Gomez, and The Suite Life of Zack & Cody's Sprouse twins). Palmer played True Jackson, a 15 year old who is hired to be the vice president of a fashion company's youth apparel division. Remember, this is Nickelodeon. The premise was made a bit more plausible by the fact that the designer who hired her was cartoonishly eccentric and none of True's co-workers spared an opportunity to remind her that the vice presidency was no place for a teenager.
5. She's a Singer.
Palmer has released an album and three mix tapes. So Uncool was released in 2007 and failed to chart on the Billboard 200. Her first mixtape, Awaken, was released in 2011 and was followed by Awaken: Reloaded later that year and Keke Palmer in 2012. Although her music has failed to actually launch any kind of career in it, anyone doubting that Palmer can belt it out only needs to look to her appearance in the 2012 musical comedy-drama film Joyful Noise. Palmer starred alongside Queen Latifah, Dolly Parton, and Courtney B. Vance for a gospel-themed eargasm.
6. She's a Producer.
Palmer produced and starred in a Nickelodeon original movie called Rags, which was a musical genre switch of the Cinderella story. It starred Max Schneider as a hardworking orphan named Charlie Prince who has to deal with a mean stepfather and a spoiled stepbrother. Then he runs into Kadee Worth, a superstar played by Palmer, and they change each other's lives for the better. It was one of Nickelodeon's highest rated original films.