Keri Hilson (born 1982)
Keri Hilson is an American pop singer and songwriter.
Keri Hilson: Childhood
Keri Lynn Hilson was born in Decatur, Georgia. As a teenager, Hilson learned to play piano and to sing. At the age of 14, she joined a girl group named D'Signe. Whilst in high school, she worked as a backing singer and a vocalist. She later studied at Emory University.
Keri Hilson: Music Career
Keri Hilson's songwriting career started seriously in 2001. She went on to write tracks for the likes of Britney Spears, Ludacris and Usher. Keri Hilson was credited as both a songwriter and a backing singer on Blackout, the Britney Spears album.
In 2004, Hilson appeared in 'Hey Now (Mean Muggin)' by Xzibit. Two years later, she signed to Mosley Music Group, the label owned by the notorious music producer Timbaland. She hooked up with Timbaland by singing down the phone for him, having been told by Polow da Don that Timbaland was searching for a new female R&B singer. Timbaland signed her as a recording artist and she appeared on Diddy's Press Play album, as well as 'Help' by Lloyd Banks. She also made a number of appearances on Timbaland's own album Shock Value. The track 'The Way I Are' reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Keri Hilson appeared in the video for Usher's track 'Love In This Club'. She also co-wrote the remix, 'Pt. II'. Hilson also starred in Ne-Yo's 'Miss Independent' video, as well as featuring on Nas' single, 'Hero'.
Keri Hilson's own debut solo album was eventually released in 2009, following a number of setbacks. Entitled In a Perfect World. the album debuted at number 4 in the US album charts. The first international single release was entitled 'Energy' and was released almost a year prior to the album release, in May 2008. The track was popular in New Zealand, but a release in the UK never happened. The second single from the album, 'Return the Favor' received a wider release and became a Top 20 hit in the UK. The third single, 'Turnin' Me On' featured Lil Wayne and reached number 15 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
The fourth release from the album is entitled 'Knock You Down' and features both Kanye West and Ne-Yo, demonstrating the respect that Hilson gets amongst the US' hip-hop and R&B community. In New Zealand, the track was a number one hit.