It seemed just like yesterday that actress and singer Keke Palmer captured the hearts of millions in the hit movie Akeelah & The Bee. Well, that seemed like yesterday, but actually, it was nearly 20 years ago! Now the Illinois native is starring in a couple of shows, run her own production company, performed on VH1’s Hip-Hop Honors, working on upcoming films, wrote a book, released albums, and more.
Born Lauren Keyana “Keke” Palmer, she made her acting debut with a cameo role in Barbershop 2: Back in Business (2004). She subsequently earned recognition for appearing in the television film The Wool Cap (2004) and had her breakthrough starring in the drama film Akeelah and the Bee in 2006. From there she’s had an incredible rise to fame that includes producing and singing.
In a post on her website, the singer and actress explains that her album, titled “Waited to Exhale,” which she wrote in between acting gigs, was never released due to a large part of her own anxiety-driven hesitance to stand behind her voice.
“These are the words I was afraid to stand behind because I had too much anxiety and could not process my experiences and how they were separate from the spirit of who I was,” wrote the 28-year-old.
READ: Keke’s Healthy Lifestyle
“I stopped trying all together because I allowed people to make me believe that being an artist meant having big-budget music videos and big record producers backing you,” the post continued. “When in reality, all being an artist means is to be fearless in your creative pursuits. My anxiety, caused by the habit of unconsciously holding my breath, coupled with the stress of my personal life at that time created a lot of hard years of depression for me.”
Following the release of her single “I Don’t Belong to You” on October 25, 2015, Palmer explained:
I don’t belong to anyone else but myself. I have to make my own decisions. Happiness is defined by me. My sexuality is defined by me. And that can change, and this can change, and I can make it what I want to make it because I’m the one who makes that choice. So that’s what ‘I Don’t Belong to You’ is saying. This song feels right. It feels right, and it’s telling who I am. And it captures my identity.
“Waited to Exhale” is a testament to Keke reclaiming a part of her life back. A part that felt totally out of control, but realizing it was hers in the first place, and within her power to take hold of it or let it go.
Keke seems wiser, healthier and definitely happier now. She even dropped some advice along in a recent post; “Believe in yourself because that’s the only thing stopping you! You must believe in the dark so when the light comes on everything is seen clearly.”
When asked what she does to maintain her healthy outlook on life and her body, Keke pointed to her workout and her new eating habits.
“For me, it became motivation simply because it’s not so much about looking nice but more about feeling good. It feels good when I work out. It makes me have energy. When I’m eating well, I’m able to deal with things better. When I started realizing the benefits to my body, health-wise, that’s really what motivated me. I don’t want to be…