Wednesday, May 5, 2010

KeKe Wyatt ends decade-long bout with rhythm and abuse

Posted By on Wed, May 5, 2010 at 2:00 PM

click to enlarge SOUL SURVIVOR: Keke Wyatt's burgeoning career took the back burner to domestic violence.
  • SOUL SURVIVOR: Keke Wyatt's burgeoning career took the back burner to domestic violence.

By L. Michael Gipson

Soul fans have long believed that to authentically sing the blues, one has to have lived them. Listening to R&B singer Ketara "Keke" Wyatt, 28, wail on Who Knew? (Shanachie), the Indianapolis native's first full-length project in nearly a decade, it's apparent that the statuesque performer has survived a few trials since her 2001 debut, Soul Sista (MCA). In the ensuing years, much of Wyatt's suffering has been fodder for gossip blogs – from domestic violence to Wyatt's adamant, and technically accurate, demands that she be identified as a "mixed race" woman.

Unperturbed, Wyatt has continued to push forward. "What God has for you is for you; this is what God has for me," says Wyatt, who despite the nine-year stretch between albums, "always just knew it was a matter of time."

Plenty of time – and two failed record deals with TVT and Cash Money Records – has elapsed since fans last heard Wyatt's pipes. She was an overnight sensation at 18, when she and crooner Avant recorded two platinum-selling duets, including "Nothing in this World." A protégé of famed producer Steve "Stone" Huff, Wyatt had the proper backing, looks, talent and the hits needed to realize pop success.

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(Photo Shanachie)

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