Keri Lynn Hilson is an American singer, songwriter, vocal arranger and actress. Hilson’s music style is R&B, hip hop, and pop; womanhood, sexual intimacy and love are the 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 Hilson announced that her upcoming third studio album would be titled L.I.A.R. The album has yet to be released, and for the past eight years Hilson has not released any new music of her own.
- Full name: Keri Lynn Hilson
- Born: 5 December 1982, Decatur, Georgia, United States
- Profession: American singer, songwriter
- Height: 1.75 m
- Spouse: Samuel Soba (m. 2002)
- Albums: No Boys Allowed, In a Perfect World…, Heat, 5.0 Deluxe
Follow Keri Hilson on social media
About Keri Hilson
Keri Lynn Hilson was born on 5 December 1982, in Decatur, Georgia, United States. Hilson’s mother owns and runs a day care center and her father was a developer who served in the Army.
She was raised in a middle class family and an African-American neighborhood. 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 spent most of her teenage years working with producer Anthony Dent as a songwriter and background vocalist for the likes of Usher, Ludacris, Kelly Rowland, Toni Braxton, Ciara and Polow da Don.
After graduating from Tucker High School in the DeKalb County School District, Hilson attended Oxford College of Emory University and Emory University in Atlanta for three years and studied a course in theater.
She continued working as a songwriter and background vocalist during her schooling years. Hilson eventually stopped working with Dent, and began working more with Polow da Don.
She also became a member of the songwriting and production team, The Clutch. Together, they wrote Mary J. Blige’s “Take Me as I Am” (2006), Omarion’s “Ice Box” (2006), Ciara’s “Like a Boy” (2006), The Pussycat Dolls’ “Wait a Minute” (2006) and Britney Spears’ “Gimme More” (2007).
In 2006, Polow introduced Hilson to American rapper and producer Timbaland, who then signed her to his record label, Mosley Music Group.
In November 2006, Hilson was featured on American rapper Lloyd Banks’ single, “Help”, for his album Rotten Apple (2006).
The following year, Hilson was featured on three singles; in June, on Timbaland’s song “The Way I Are”, the second single from his album Shock Value (2007); on Rich Boy’s “Good Things” with Polow da Don; and thereafter, in December, on Timbaland’s song “Scream” with Nicole Scherzinger, the fifth single from Shock Value.
Out of the three singles, “The Way I Are” achieved the most success, topping nine charts around the world.
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 became 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.