Childhood & Early Life
She was born Kenya Summer Moore on January 24, 1971 in Detroit, Michigan, US to Patricia Moore and Ronald Grant, both teenagers at that time.
Her mother abandoned her when she was just three days old and was thereafter taken care of by her grandmother, Doris Grant, and her aunt. While in a television reality show, she poured her heart out saying that her mother did not name her ever. She wrote "Since birth, my mother made the decision at age 16 to pretend she never had me. She has never spoken to me”.
Further on the subject of her mother, Kenya mentioned on her Bravo blog that “Even if present in the same room with other people and family, she pretends that I simply don’t exist. She pretends I’m invisible".
She attended ‘Cass Technical High School’ located in Midtown Detroit, US, and completed her graduation from there in 1989. She then studied at the ‘Wayne State University’ and did her major in psychology and minor in communication.
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She commenced her career in showbiz as a model at 14. Eventually she was successful as a model and featured as cover girl in the January 1992 issue of Johnson Publishing Company’s monthly magazine for the African-American market ‘Ebony Man’. She was also made model of the company’s Ebony Fashion Fair cosmetic line.
She took part and won the Miss Michigan USA competition in 1993 which helped her represent her state in the Miss USA pageant. The ravishing diva went on to win the Miss USA crown, and became the American entrant in the Miss Universe pageant of that year.
The 42nd Miss Universe pageant was held at the Auditorio Nacional in Mexico City, Mexico, on May 21, 1993. She remained impressive throughout the event and finished among the top six finalists.
Slowly she made her acting debut. She played a minor role of Dana in the Will Smith starrer popular television sitcom ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ in its episode titled ‘Mothers Day’ that aired in the production’s fourth season on May 2, 1994.
She went on to debut in films with a small role of Denise in the American romance flick ‘Waiting to Exhale’ that released on December 22, 1995 and became a huge hit. The film was noted for an all African-American cast.
The years that followed saw her featuring in minor roles in several television productions including in single episodes of TV series like ‘Martin’ (1996), ‘Homeboys in Outer Space’ (1996) and ‘Smart Guy’ (1997) among many others; and in two episodes each in TV series’ ‘The Parent 'Hood’ (1999) and ‘In The House’ (1999).
Her next big screen feature happened with the 1998 comic sci-fi film ‘Senseless’ which, however, emerged as a box-office disappointment.
She then landed up with the starring role of Jasmine Davis in the Rob Hardy directed 2010 erotic thriller film ‘Trois’. The film that also starred Gary Dourdan and Gretchen Palmer grossed $1.3 million at box-office and emerged among highest grossing African-American films of the year, and also among top fifty highest grossing independent films of that year.
In course of time she appeared in several other films. Some notable ones include the 2003 American romantic comedy film ‘Deliver Us From Eva’, the 2006 American sports comedy film ‘Cloud 9’, and the Lindsay Lohan starrer 2007 psychological thriller ‘I Know Who Killed Me’.
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She also forayed as producer and director with some projects later in her career. In 2008, she established her own independent movie production and home-video distribution company ‘Moore Vision Media’. The first production of the company was the 2010 released erotic thriller film ‘The Confidant’.
She is also credited as producer/director of the thriller film ‘Trapped: Haitian Nights’ in which she starred along with Vivica A. Fox. She took charge of the film and completed it after it lost its director. The film was shot in 2010 and released on DVD on February 8, 2011.
She became part of the main cast of the popular American reality television series ‘The Real Housewives of Atlanta’ in its fifth season in May 2012. Since then she features as herself in the show that is considered the highest-rated installment of ‘The Real Housewives’ franchise. The show that emerged as the most-watched series airing on Bravo furthered her fame to new heights.
She was part of the supporting cast of the American disaster comedy sci-fi horror television film ‘Sharknado: The 4th Awakens ‘. The fourth instalment in the Sharknado film series was premiered on the Syfy channel in the US on July 31, 2016.
Other television features of Kenya includes in the series’ ‘Men, Women, & Dogs’ (2001) and ‘Girlfriends’ (2004) and in reality shows ‘The Celebrity Apprentice 7’ (2015) and ‘The Millionaire Matchmaker’ (2015).
Kenya has also graced covers of renowned magazines namely ‘Essence’, ‘Glamour’, ‘Ebony’ and ‘Seventeen’. Her other pursuits includes releasing her advice book ‘Game, Get Some!’ in November 2007; coming out with a workout DVD in 2013 titled ‘Kenya Moore: Booty Boot Camp’; and featuring in music videos of artists including in ‘Street Dreams’ (1996) by Nas and ‘Money Ain't a Thang’ (1998) by Jermaine Dupri.
She has also launched her own hair care line ‘Kenya Moore Hair Care’ and presently serves as its CEO. The products on offer includes shampoo, hair conditioner and growth serum among others.
She married restaurant owner Marc Daly on June 10, 2017 at a private resort in the Eastern Caribbean island nation of St. Lucia. She was introduced to Daly by a mutual friend, Chef Roblé Ali.
She created the ‘Kenya Moore Foundation’ that supports education of under-privileged girls from her high school by awarding them scholarships.
Kenya has a strong presence in social media with 1 million followers on her Instagram account ‘thekenyamoore’, over 560 K followers on her Twitter account ‘KenyaMoore’ and more than 495 K followers on her Facebook account ‘thekenyamoore’.