Throughout her career, Keke Palmer has proven that the skyâs the limit â and sheâs only getting started.
Palmer, who was born in Harvey, Illinois, began singing in the church choir at age 5. After her family moved to Los Angeles, the âBossyâ singer quickly found herself working as an actress, landing her first acting role in 2004âs Barbershop 2: Back in Business.
She rose to fame after starring on her own Nickelodeon series, True Jackson, VP, from 2008 to 2011. Three years after wrapping the Nickelodeon show, Palmer made history in more ways than one. She landed her own BET talk show and was also the first Black actress to play Cinderella on Broadway.
âI waited my entire life for a moment like that,â she told Essence in 2016 of being Cinderella. âI hate saying it was a huge deal that I was the first African American to ever be a part of this musical. Itâs great, but I also want people to feel like itâs crazy, because it shouldnât always be this way. But I loved that my little brother and sister got to watch this show and actually see a diverse world just like the one around them.â
As Palmer continued to grow as an actress with roles on Scream Queens, Star and more, she chose to become her own boss and launched her own record label. The musician had already been with three labels by her mid-20s, but with Big Boss Entertainment, she could call her own shots.
âItâs about empowering myself,â the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards host told Billboard in February 2018. âI want to empower my peers, so they also feel theyâre not a part of the old way of doing things and be a part of the big bosses. Big Boss is about me helping expand and using what I know. Iâm not always going to be Keke Palmer the entertainer, but itâs meant for me to get outside and move to the forefront. Thatâs what Iâm building towards.â
Palmerâs career took off after she landed her own series on Nickelodeon when she was 15. She played True Jackson on True Jackson, VP for three seasons, from 2008 to 2011.
In 2009, Nickelodeon teamed up with Walmart to create a fashion line, Mad Style by True Jackson, inspired by the hit show.
In 2014, Palmer made history as the youngest-ever talk show host with Just Keke on BET. She also starred as the first Black Cinderella on Broadway the same year.
After releasing her music video for âI Donât Belong to Youâ in October 2015, which shows her leaving her boyfriend for a woman, the artist revealed that she doesnât put labels on her sexuality. âI think the point of the whole video was to let people know that â that my sexuality is up to me,â Palmer told Cosmopolitan in its November 2015 issue. âThatâs really the point â itâs female autonomy and her being who she wants to be in the world; thereâs no labels attached, sheâs just doing her! She doesnât have to explain it to anybody because at the end of the day, itâs her that decides what she wants to do, and who!â
The Ice Age: Collision Course actress made a bold statement when she shaved her head in May 2017 and then dyed her head purple. âAs you can see from my track record â¦ I love finding new versions of myself,â Palmer told Refinery 29 about the transformation.
âIt makes me feel super inspired.â She continued: âIâm in a place in my life where I realized I donât have anything stopping me from expressing myself in any facet, and that makes me happy.