Born & Raised:
Born Oct. 24th, 1983. Raised in Oakland, California.
Growing up in the streets of Oakland, California, Cole was a foster child adopted by Yvonne Cole. Her first recordings were with MC Hammer at the age of 12. In the early 2000s, she appeared on tracks by various Bay Area artists, including D'Wayne Wiggins of Tony! Toni! Toné!. According to Cole, minutes after catching her boyfriend cheating, she jumped in her car and drove from the Bay Area to Los Angeles in the middle of the night.
After a few months of making connections in Los Angeles, she snagged an introduction to A&M Records President Ron Fair, who signed her to her first solo recording deal. Cole released her debut album, The
Way It Is, under Interscope/A&M Records, on June 21, 2005. The album features the singles "I Changed My Mind," "I Just Want It To Be Over," "I Should Have Cheated," and "Love." Her first single, "Never" from the Barbershop 2 soundtrack, also appears on the album.
It was the third single off The Way It Is, "I Should Have Cheated," that gained Cole her first widespread R&B success, peaking at #4 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles chart. Subsequently, the fourth single, "Love," was a radio smash, zooming into the top 10 of the R&B chart in a matter of weeks. On Oct. 13, 2005, the album was certified Gold, having sold half a million copies. It was later certified Platinum (a million copies sold) in February 2006.
In November 2005, Keyshia and the rapper Young Jeezy tied for the "Next Award" (newcomer of the year) at the 2005 VIBE Awards. Keyshia and Jeezy hit it off and started dating. In February 2006 Cole signed to Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Music imprint. In April 2006, Black Entertainment Television (BET) announced that Keyshia would star in a reality series entitled "Keyshia Cole: Star Time." The six-episode show, later had its title changed to Keyshia Cole: The Way It Is and premiered on BET on July 12, 2006.
Just Like You:
Keyshia's second album, Just Like You was officially released on Sept. 25, 2007 in the United States. She eventually broke up with Young Jeezy after she proposed to him and he said he wasn't ready to get married. The second season of her reality series, Keyshia Cole 2: The Way It Is, premiered on BET on Tues., Oct. 30. It focused on Keyshia recording her second album, and her mother's recent release from jail, among other things. Her third album, A Different Me, dropped in December 2008.
The Last Word:
"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.