Keke Palmer
Palmer at SDCC 2016
Biographical Information
Date of Birth: August 26, 1993 (age 23)
Origin: Harvey, Illinois
Years active: 2002-present
Show Information
Character(s): Zayday Williams
Season(s): Season OneTwo
Show Status: Inactive
Very dedicated, very smart and driven. Always fighting for justice and pushing away anything that’s not up to her standards. She has dreams and hopes of one day being president.
—Keke Palmer on her character Zayday Williams[src]

Lauren Keyana "Keke" Palmer is an American actress, television presenter, singer, and songwriter. Palmer was born in Harvey, Illinois and raised in Robbins, Illinois. After Palmer's film debut, Palmer and her family moved to California to help her pursue a career in acting. Palmer released her debut album, So Uncool, on September 18, 2007 through Atlantic Records. The album failed to chart on the US Billboard 200 but did chart at number 85 on the R&B chart. The album was preceded by the lead single "Keep It Movin'". Palmer starred on the hit Nickelodeon TV show True Jackson, VP.

She portrayed Zayday Williams on Season One of the horror-comedy TV series Scream Queens and is currently reprising her role in Season Two.


2002–06: Films

Keke with Laurence Fishburne on Akeelah and the Bee

In 2002, Palmer auditioned for a stage production of The Lion King at age nine. In 2004, she gained her first film role in Barbershop 2: Back in Business, in which she played the niece of American rapper and actress Queen Latifah. After starring in the film, Palmer and her family moved to California, so Palmer could pursue a career in acting. Palmer then pursued a career in singing. In 2003, she participated in American Juniors, the American Idol spin-off series, but her audition scenes were edited out and the show was canceled that year. In 2005, Palmer signed a record deal with Atlantic Records. Her debut single, "All My Girlz", is featured in the Akeelah and the Bee soundtrack. In 2005, Palmer was featured in the television film Knights of the South Bronx, as well as starring in three television programs Second Time Around and ER. In 2005 signed with Disney Channel to starring the show Keke & Jamal, but the pilot was unaired and Palmer left the channel.

On November 18, 2006, she performed at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California for VH1's Save the Music Battle of the High School Marching Bands competition, marking her first ever stadium performance in front of thousands of people. In addition, as part of her contract with Disney, Palmer sang the songs "It's My Turn Now" and "Jumpin'" featured in the Disney Channel Original Movie Jump In!, in which she stars as Mary, the love interest to Corbin Bleu's character. In 2006, Palmer was featured in the music video for the Ludacris and Mary J. Blige song "Runaway Love", in which she starred as a pregnant 11-year-old girl. That same year, she recorded a song entitled "Tonight" which was featured as the first song in the end credits of Night at the Museum. Besides focusing on her music career, Palmer had the lead role in the 2006 film Akeelah and the Bee, in which she played a bright 11-year-old who comes from a poor neighborhood and competes in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Palmer also had a supporting role in the 2006 film Madea's Family Reunion.

2007–10: So Uncool and True Jackson, VP

Keke Palmer as True Jackson

In 2007, Palmer starred in many acting roles, she was a supporting act in the thriller Cleaner alongside Samuel L. Jackson and Eva Mendes. Palmer also had the lead role in the television film Jump In! along with American actor Corbin Bleu. Palmer also starred in two television programs Tyler Perry's House of Payne and Just Jordan. Palmer released her debut album So Uncool on September 18, 2007, though Atlantic Records. The album failed to chart on the US Billboard 200, but did chart at number 85 on the R&B chart. The album was preceded by the lead single "Keep It Movin'".

In 2008, Palmer began her starring role as the title character in Nickelodeon sitcom True Jackson, VP. Palmer also wrote and performed the theme song for the series. Palmer earned $20,000 per episode of True Jackson VP, which made her the fourth highest-paid child star on television. In July 2009, designer Jane Siskin created a Walmart fashion line inspired by True Jackson, VP, with all the designs being approved by Palmer. The fashion line consists of jumpers, modern dresses, knit tops, T-shirts, leggings, and more. As well as starring in True Jackson, VP, Palmer starred as the lead role in the 2008 film The Longshots, along with Ice Cube, becoming their second film together after Barbershop 2: Back in Business. In 2009, Palmer had a role in the film Shrink in which she played a patient named Jemma, who is a troubled high school student, and is required to see a therapist by her school after cutting her hand by punching a mirror.

In 2010, Palmer was signed by the Chairman of Interscope Records, Jimmy Iovine, and began working on an album. Between her MySpace and SayNow accounts, she has released several snippets of songs that were recorded for possible inclusion on her sophomore album. In a 2011 interview, Palmer stated the album is complete and is in the process of finalization. The self-titled album will be a mixture of R&B/hip-hop with pop undertones. Producers and writers for the album include Lil Eddie and Lucas Secon. Palmer stated that the album itself would be released in early 2012.

2011–13: Focus on music and 90210

Palmer performing

In January 2011, Palmer released her first mixtape Awaken. The mixtape was officially released on January 10, 2011, for downloads on mixtape-downloading websites. The first and only single released from the mixtape was "The One You Call". A music video was also released for the song. It premiered on Palmer's official YouTube channel and iTunes. Also in 2011, Palmer released a statement on her official website saying that she will be going on a US tour to promote her new music. She asked fans to vote for the states they wanted her to visit first. On September, the winning states were announced. They were Texas, Florida, Minnesota, Georgia, Mississippi, Washington, New York, and North Carolina, which is expected to start in 2012. That same year, she finished her show True Jackson, VP. In 2012, Palmer starred alongside Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah in the film Joyful Noise, released in January 2012. She produced and starred in Rags, a Nickelodeon musical film, as well as voice characters in Ice Age: Continental Drift and Winx Club. Palmer has also recently been cast in the upcoming comedy Virgin Mary, opposite Abigail Breslin and Carter Jenkins. In 2012, Palmer spoke on the direction of the album saying "It's definitely a progression. What you would think I'd sound like at my age is what it is. It's a record I can say is truly my own. I was there from the beginning to the end. I was in full control of it, and it represents who I am." In July 2012, Palmer released the single "You Got Me" featuring Kevin McCall. The video for the single was released on July 11, 2012. Palmer has also announced a new single named "Dance Alone".

Palmer released a self-titled mixtape Keke Palmer on October 1, 2012. It includes her new singles "You Got Me" & "Dance Alone" which have already been released. Since the release, her mixtape has over 35,000 downloads. On June 3, 2013, Keke Palmer released a lyric video for her bonus track from her mixtape "Takes Me Away". In 2013 Palmer portrayed Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas in the TLC VH1-biopic CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story. The film was completed in April 2013 and aired in October on the VH1 network, as well as being released in select theaters soon after. On May 16, 2013, Keke Palmer released a video showing her recording and performing a cover of Alicia Keys song "If I Ain't Got You". Her album is due to release sometime this year. Palmer also recently took part in a cover of "The Other Side" with Max Schneider. The video was released on YouTube in late June 2013 and is on iTunes without Derulo's part.

Also, in 2013, she portrayed Elizabeth Royce Harwood in four episodes of 90210.

2014–present: Just Keke, films, and Scream Queens

Keke's music video "Animal"

Palmer starring in the horror film Animal, which was filmed in Manchester, Connecticut. Produced by Drew Barrymore, the film co-stars Elizabeth Gilles, Jeremy Sumpter, and Eve and was released for a limited release on June 17, 2014 in theatres and VOD. In addition to be in the film, Palmer also performed and wrote a song entitled "Animal", which is the main theme of the movie of the same name. Palmer was cast in a recurring role in the second season of Showtime's Masters of Sex. She will play Coral, a nanny hired by the Masters to care for their new baby. Palmer is currently working with record producer and recording artist Bangladesh on her second studio album.

It was announced on 21 April 2014, that Palmer will be hosting her own daytime talk show on BET called Just Keke (formerly The Keke Palmer Project). The show will cover a variety of topics including fashion, pop culture, relationships, social issues, celebrity interviews, and much more. The show premieres on June 30, 2014 and it will run on Monday-Friday at 5pm ET/PT.

In August 2014, it was announced that Palmer would be the first African-American to star as Cinderella on Broadway in September 2014. She played as the first African American Cinderella along with her co-host, another African American star who portrayed the stepmother. She performed her first show on September 9, 2014. Her last show was on a closing night of the show's run on January 4, 2015. In January 2015, she was cast in one of the leading roles in the first season of Fox's comedy-horror series, Scream Queens. Keke Palmer has said that new music will be released towards the end of the year with an album releasing by early 2016. In February 2017, It was announced that Keke would not return to Scream Queens if the show returned for a third season due to her signing on to Berlin Station, an Epix original series.

On September 13, 2017, it was announced that Palmer will join as a series regular in the third season of the MTV slasher television series Scream. She will star in the role of Kym.



Year Title Role Notes
2004 Barbershop 2: Back in Business Gina's niece
2004 The Wool Cap Lou Television film
2005 Knights of the South Bronx Kenya Russell Television film
2006 Akeelah and the Bee Akeelah Anderson
2006 Madea's Family Reunion Nikki Grady
2007 Cleaner Rose Cutler
2007 Jump In! Mary Thomas Television film
2008 The Longshots Jasmine Plummer
2008 Unstable Fables: Tortoise vs. Hare Crystal Tortoise Voice
2009 Shrink Jemma
2012 Joyful Noise Olivia Hill
2012 Winx Club: The Secret of the Lost Kingdom Aisha Voice
2012 Ice Age: Continental Drift Peaches Voice
2012 Rags Kadee Worth Television film; also producer
2012 Abducted: The Carlina White Story Carlina White Television film
2013 Curdled Tara Short film
2013 CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas Television film
2014 Imperial Dreams Samaara
2014 The Trip to Bountiful Thelma Television film
2014 Animal Alissa Lead Role
2015 Brotherly Love Jackie Lead Role
2016 Ice Age: Collision Course Peaches Voice role
2018 Tobacco Valley Diana Davis


Year Title Role Notes
2004 Cold Case Arlene Marion "The Letter" (Season 1, Episode 13)
2004 Strong Medicine Sarina "Healing Touch" (Season 5, Episode 7)
2005 Second Time Around Sharlene "Big Bank, Little Bank" (Season 1, Episode 11)
2005 ER Janell Parkerson "The Show Must Go On" (Season 11, Episode 22)
2005 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Tasha Wright "Storm" (Season 7, Episode 10)
2005 Keke & Jamal Keke Stewart Disney Channel pilot unaired
2007 Tyler Perry's House of Payne Nikki "Bully and the Beast" (Season 2, Episode 1)
2007 Just Jordan C.C. Livingston "Fame Game" (Season 2, Episode 4)
2008–11 True Jackson, VP True Jackson Lead role
2010 The Cleveland Show Brandi Voice; "Harder, Better, Faster, Browner" (Season 2, Episode 1)
2011 Degrassi: The Next Generation Herself "Boom Boom Pow: Part 1" (Season 11, Episode 1)
"Boom Boom Pow: Part 2" (Season 11, Episode 2)
2011–present Winx Club Aisha Voice; Main role
2013 90210 Elizabeth Royce Harwood Recurring role (Season 5)
2013 Key & Peele Malia Obama's anger translator "Obama Shutdown" (Season 3, Episode 5)
2013 Full Circle Chan'dra Stevens "Jace & Chan'dra" (Season 1, Episode 4)
"Chan'dra & Cliff" (Season 1, Episode 5)
2014 Single Ladies Herself "The Girl Most Likely To..." (Season 3, Episode 3)
2014 Grey's Anatomy Cheryl "We Gotta Get Out of This Place" (Season 10, Episode 16)
2014 Family Guy Pam Voice; "Baby Got Black" (Season 12, Episode 18)
2014 Masters of Sex Coral Recurring role, 4 episodes
2014 Just Keke Herself / Host
2015 - 2016 Scream Queens Zayday Williams Main role, 21 episodes
2016 Bubble Guppies Stylee 1 episode, voice role
2016 Grease Live Marty Maraschino TV Movie
2016 Project Mc* Nov8 Agent Gues role, 1 episode
2017 Star Gigi Guest role, 1 episode
2017-present Berlin Station April Lewis Main role (season 2-present), 5 episodes
2018-present Scream Kym Series regular; Filming


Year Title Role Notes
2014-2015 Cinderella Ella Broadway musical


  • She describes herself as a "very silly person".
  • She likes to meditate 20 minutes every morning and every afternoon.
  • Keke has cited Beyoncé, Janet Jackson, Ciara, Mariah Carey, Aaliyah, Brandy, Michael Jackson, R. Kelly, and American girl group TLC as inspirations.


External links


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