Keri Hilson

Born Keri Lynn Hilson
December 5, 1982
Decatur, Georgia, U.S.
Singer songwriter record producer actress
Years active 2004–2011
Website kerihilson.com
Musical career
R&B hip hop pop

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Keri Lynn Hilson (born December 5, 1982) is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. She was born and raised in Decatur, Georgia, and spent most of her youth working with producer Anthony Dent, as a songwriter and background vocalist for several R&B and hip hop artists. By the age of 14, Hilson had secured a record deal with the girl group D’Signe, who later disbanded. She attended Oxford College of Emory University in Georgia, while she continued writing songs for artists, including Britney Spears, The Pussycat Dolls, and Mary J. Blige, with the production and songwriting team, The Clutch. In 2006, Hilson signed with American rapper and producer Timbaland’s record label, Mosley Music. Her breakthrough came the following year after appearing on Timbaland’s single “The Way I Are”, which topped charts around the world.

Hilson’s music style is generally R&B, hip hop and pop; womanhood, sexual intimacy and love are typical themes. Her musical influences come from her father’s side of the family. Hilson’s debut studio album, In a Perfect World…, was released in 2009, and debuted at number four on the US Billboard 200 chart, eventually being certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The album spawned the hit singles, “Knock You Down”, “Turnin Me On” and “I Like”. It also earned Hilson two Grammy Award nominations for Best New Artist and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for “Knock You Down”. Her second studio album, No Boys Allowed, was released in 2010 and was considerably less successful than its predecessor; however, it included the platinum single, “Pretty Girl Rock”. In 2016 she announced her third album L.I.A.R set for release in that year. It has yet to be released, and for the past seven years Hilson has yet to release new music.

Besides her music career, Hilson has also contributed to various charities and pursued a career in acting, but she continues to record and perform music. She has contributed in the fight against HIV and AIDS, helped various relief efforts for natural disasters, and become involved with several educational organizations. In 2012, Hilson made her acting debut in the romantic comedy film, Think Like a Man. Her achievements include a BET Award, MOBO Award, NAACP Image Award and two Soul Train Music Awards.

Keri Lynn Hilson was born on December 5, 1982, in Decatur, Georgia. Hilson’s mother owns and runs a day care center and her father is a developer who served in the army. She was raised in an African-American neighborhood and came from a middle class family. Her brother is Kip and her sisters are Kelsee, Kye and Kaycee. Hilson and her siblings did not attend a school within the neighborhood, stating that “they shipped us off for an hour to get to school every day. It was just that important for us to maintain the life that they had created”. From the age of 12, Hilson wanted to pursue a musical career, after watching television talent shows, Star Search and Showtime at the Apollo. Her mother then hired a piano teacher to give her piano lessons; however, Hilson wanted to become a singer and therefore “converted those sessions into vocal lessons, accompanying the teacher on piano”. By the age of 14, Hilson had secured a record deal with the girl group D’Signe, who later disbanded.

Hilson, along with Gym Class Heroes, Gorilla Zoe and T-Pain, were supporting acts on Lil Wayne’s I Am Music Tour in North America. At the 2009 BET Awards, she was nominated in four categories, including Best New Artist, Best Female R&B Artist, as well as Viewer’s Choice and Best Collaboration for “Turnin Me On” with Lil Wayne. She eventually won the Best New Artist category. In 2009, Hilson was featured on five singles; “Number One” with R. Kelly, “She Don’t Wanna” with Asher Roth, “Everything, Everyday, Everywhere” with Fabolous, “Medicine” with Plies, and on the remix of Sean Paul’s song, “Hold My Hand”. Hilson was nominated for Breakthrough Artist and Favorite Soul/R&B Female Artist at the 2009 American Music Awards, but lost to Beyoncé Knowles. The re-released edition of In a Perfect World…, in January 2010, included the single “I Like”, which reached number one in Germany, Poland and Slovakia, and peaked within the top ten in Austria, Norway and Switzerland. At the 52nd Grammy Awards, Hilson was nominated for Best New Artist and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for “Knock You Down” with Kanye West and Ne-Yo.

In June 2011, Hilson became an ambassador for MTV Staying Alive, a foundation which raises awareness and prevention of HIV and AIDS. In September 2011, she lent her support to US First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign, which aims to combat childhood obesity.[94] She made T-shirts for the campaign that read “Pretty Girls Sweat”, and exercised with the young women at The Educational Alliance’s Sirovich Senior Center in New York City on September 24. During Hilson’s visit in Africa in November 2011, she stopped by an orphanage to visit her young fans who had lost their families during the 2010–2011 Ivorian crisis.[95] She gave each orphan a “care” package, which consisted of bookbags, T-shirts, sunglasses, notebooks and an electric keyboard. In April 2012, Hilson worked with DoSomething.org to encourage young people to take part in the nationwide Epic Book Drive by bringing books to local people in need.[96] In a press release, she stated: “Joining DoSomething.org’s newest effort to provide for people in need with Epic Book Drive was the easiest decision ever!. I truly believe providing access to those who want to learn is the key to bettering lives around the country. And helping kids find healthy outlets, such as books, has always been a passion of mine. So my involvement here is a natural fit.”


Main article: Keri Hilson discography

In a Perfect World… (2009)
No Boys Allowed (2010)


Film and television roles

Year Title Role Notes

2012 Think Like a Man Heather Film
2013 Riddick Santana’s Prisoner Film
2016 Almost Christmas Jasmine Film
2017 Love by the 10th Date Billie Television film[97][98][99]