Lauren “Keke” Keyana Palmer was born August 26, 1993 in Harvey, Illinois. Keke is best known for her title role in the 2006 major motion picture Akeelah and the Bee, as well as her recent debut album, So Uncool.
Growing up, Keke showed vocal promise as early as age five, singing in her church choir. Music was Palmer’s early passion, and she has said that she barely considered actig until her big break in 2004, when she was cast in Barbershop 2: Back in Business in the role of Queen Latifah's niece. After seeing the potential for stardom, Keke’s family decided to give her a chance to pursue her acting career, and they relocated to California.
Shortly after the move, Keke began booking parts on prime time television shows and advertisements. Palmer appeared on CBS’s series Cold Case, in a national K-Mart commercial, and played opposite William H. Macy in a TNT Original movie, Wool Cap. Young Palmer's performance in Wool Cap was so inspired that it earned her a Screen Actors Guild Awards nomination. At 10, she was the youngest actress to ever receive a nomination for in their Lead Actress category.
In 2006, Keke starred as Akeelah Anderson in the award-winning film Akeelah and the Bee. Palmer was awarded the 2007 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture for her role in the film, and won a ShoWest Award for Most Promising Actress. Palmer went on to appear in Tyler Perry's Family Reunion, which was number #1 at the box office for two weeks, and to star in the Disney Channel original movie, Jump In!
Keke signed with Atlantic Records shortly after Akeelah and the Bee made her a familiar face in the entertainment industry. Keke's Atlantic Records debut album, "So Uncool," was released in late 2007. Palmer cites her musical influences as Aaliyah, TLC, Brandy, and Beyonce.