Who is Keith Sweat?
Keith Sweat began his musical career as the lead singer of the band ‘Jamilah’. He later received phenomenal success as a solo-artist and his albums and singles peaked at the number one position on R&B and Billboard charts. He is one of the earliest practitioners of the ‘New Jack Swing’ style of music, an innovative blend of soul singing and hip-hop beats. Known for his distinctive ‘whining’ vocal style, Sweat has established himself as one of the most successful male R&B/soul singers not only in America but also in other parts of the world. He is a veteran of contemporary R&B music and has effortlessly presided over a musical style that has continuously evolved, since the release of his triple platinum certified album ‘Make It Last Forever’. He has always been innovative in his music and has incorporated many modern variations like the use of the ‘swingbeat’ but has never steered from the use of traditional soul base.
Childhood & Early Life
Keith Douglas Sweat was born in Harlem, New York City, to Charles, a factory worker and Juanita Sweat, a hairdresser.
He was raised in the neighbourhood of Harlem and by the time he was 14 he had performed at various nightclubs in and around New York City.
All through his adolescent and later teenage years, he balanced life between school and singing and performing at various venues across the city of New York.
He graduated from the City College of New York with a BS degree in ‘communications’, after which he worked for a brief period as a successful brokerage assistant in a Wall Street firm.
Despite a prosperous career at the Wall Street, he chose to pursue his passion for music and began writing songs and tried selling them to various record labels.
Continue Reading Below
You May Like
In 1975, he began his career in music as a member of the Harlem based band called the ‘Jamilah’. As the lead singer of the band he performed in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
In 1984, he left ‘Jamilah’ in order to begin a solo career and subsequently sang at various nightclubs in New York. He was quickly noticed and given an opportunity to record an independent album for ‘Stadium Records’.
He recorded ‘My Mind Is Made Up’ for the ‘Stadium Records’ and he was also credited as the co-writer and co-producer of ‘You Are the One for Me’.
On November 25, 1987 his debut solo album ‘Make It Last Forever’ was released. It was a major success and the biggest hit from the album was ‘I Want Her’.
In 1990, he topped the charts again with his second album ‘I’ll Give All My Love to You’, which boosted his fan following.
In 1991, his third album ‘keep It Comin’ was released and it featured the songs ‘Why Me Baby’ and the title track ‘Keep It Comin'.
In 1994, his fourth album titled ‘Get Up on It’ was released. Singles from this album included ‘How Do You Like It’ and the title track and ‘When I Give My Love’.
On June 25, 1996, his self-titled album was released and included the hit singles ‘Twisted’ and ‘Nobody’. The single ‘twisted’ was one of the smash hits of that year.
In 1998, his sixth album ‘Still in the Game’ was released - the songs from the album ‘Come and Get with Me’ peaked on the U.S. charts. ‘I'm Not Ready’, released a year later, was also a hit song.
Continue Reading Below
By 2000, his fame began to wane and his albums no longer topped the charts. By the time he released his seventh album ‘Didn’t See Me Coming’, his singles struggled to reach even the top forty.
On August 13, 2002, his eighth album ‘Rebirth’ was released. The album did not do very well and saw a huge dip in sales when compared to his previous albums.
His ninth studio album titled ‘Just me’ released in 2008. It was a moderate success and its first single ‘Love You Better’ was played on the ‘Urban Radio Station’ a year before the release of the album.
On June 22, 2010 his tenth studio album titled ‘Ridin Solo’ was released by Kedar Records.
Released in 1987, his debut album ‘Make It Last Forever’ peaked at the number one position on the ‘Top R&B Albums’ chart for three weeks. The album sold three million copies in the U.S. and received a triple platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America.
His hit single ‘Twisted’ from the 1996 self-titled album peaked at the number one position on the U.S. R&B chart and featured at number two spot on the Billboard Hot 100, the American music industry popularity chart.
His second album, ‘I’ll Give All My Love to You’ reached the number one position on the ‘Top R&B Albums’ chart and also peaked at the number 6 position on the Billboard 200, which featured the highest selling albums. The album sold two million copies and received a double platinum certification.
Awards & Achievements
In 1997, he received the American Music Award in the category, ‘Favorite Male R&B/Soul Artist’.
Personal Life & Legacy
In 1992, he married Lisa Wu-Hartwell and the couple had two sons. Unfortunately the marriage came to an end in the year 2002 and he got full custody of both the children.