Dating, dancing and Day 26: ‘True Jackson, VP’ star Keke Palmer on turning Sweet 16


    by Ericka Boston

    Image Award-winning actress Keke Palmer has played a spelling bee champ, a football player and most recently a fashion designer, but the role she’s most looking forward to is that of prom queen Saturday night when she celebrates her 16th birthday. 



    You have a birthday coming up.

    Keke: [screams] Ohhhh!!!


    Ericka: You’re gonna be 16!
    I’m going to be 16. I. Can. Not. Wait! You just don’t understand! Sixteen’s gonna be—this is great. My perfect dream Sweet 16 does not come close to this one.


    Ericka: I saw the invite. It’s a prom theme, right?
    Yeah, it’s a prom theme.


    Ericka: So tell me about your planning and everything for it.
    They have a couple surprises in there for me, and they have this whole plan of what’s going to happen at this certain time and this certain time.


    Ericka: Are you trying to find out about any of your surprises?
    I was begging my mother! I’m like, “Mom! Tell me!” I’m just so excited. It’s going to be great. It’s gonna be a good surprise. But, you know, they’re gonna have Day 26 perform—Diddy’s group. And T-Mobile set up a booth where it’s gonna be like prom, you know, where you go to prom to take your pictures, and then they get a picture and then their date gets a picture and then they get a picture to put in, like, a little scrapbook. And then they write, “I had so much fun, Keke! Blah, blah, blah, blah, thanks a lot.” And then I get to have a little scrapbook at the end! And then Angela and Vanessa Simmons contacted my publicist and stuff and they were like, “We’d like to come to the party and set up a Pastry booth,” and all that type of stuff, so it’s going to be really cool! I’m just so excited about everything that’s going on, and I’m so appreciative because I would’ve never dreamed that anything like this was happening, and Nickelodeon just did such—


    Ericka: —So they did it, just Nickelodeon on their own.
    Keke: Yes. I mean, they treated me [to] the most amazing gift I could ever get, and I just don’t know what to say. They’ve been working so hard. And I’m stressing out, like, what’s going on? What’s going on? So I know if I’m doing nothing and I’m stressing out, they’re probably going crazy! But I just know it’s gonna work out good in the end. [claps hands]


    Ericka: Do you already have your outfit planned?
    I’m getting ready to try on the dress when I get back to California, so I’m excited. I was talking to the wardrobe stylist. I was like, first dress has gotta be very gown-y and very prom-y.


    Ericka: How many changes are you going to have?
    Two. One right when I come in and the second is gonna be right before Day 26 performs.


    Ericka: Do you have a date for your party?
    Keke: Yes! His name is Brandon, and I’ve known him for such a long time.


    Ericka: So tell me a little bit about Brandon.
    Brandon is—how old was I when I met him? 13? 14? And we’ve just been friend-boy—’cause I’m not allowed to have a boyfriend—


    Ericka: Which is great! [laughs]
    —for a long time. I know! I’m gonna have one when I’m 16, though.


    Ericka: So it’s not that far away!
    Keke: Not that far away! I’m excited because I’ve never been on a real date before, and so this is gonna be cool, and probably with Brandon.


    Ericka: I love your enthusiasm.
    Keke: But then people told me it’s gonna go quickly, like, right after my first date I’m gonna be tired; I’m not gonna be excited anymore, so that sucks.


    Ericka: Well, there will be other things to be excited about.
    Nickelodeon VP of Communications Jodi Davis:
    There’ll be more Brandons.

    Keke: Yeah. No! I don’t wanna have a million—I hope he stays! [all laugh] Next week I’ll be like, yeah, that’s John. I’m chillin’ with John now. And then next week: Yeah, that’s Zachary. That’d be terrible. [laughs] But yeah, Brandon, I’m sure he’ll be my first date. We’ve been friends for such a long time, and he’s been through my 14th party and my 15th birthday party, and now it’ll be my 16th. And it’s so funny ‘cause I remember when he was 15—he’s turning 18 this year. And it’s so weird. We’re both looking at each other growing up, and I’m like, “Man, you’re growing up!” He’s like, “You’re growing up!” And it’s so funny. Now I’m really growing up! Man, this is exciting. 


    Ericka: So what do you want for your birthday?
    Keke: People keep asking me. I don’t know because this is good enough. I’m not very greedy. I’m very simple: good birthday party, people had a good time–as long as my party’s not a dud I’m happy! So I don’t really ask for much. But if I did have to say something, I definitely want a car for my 16th birthday. 


    Ericka: Do you have your eye on anything in particular?
    Ford Escape. [strikes a pose like she’s behind the wheel] White on the outside, beige on the inside. I’ve already got it planned. Hybrid—I’m being green! And another cool gift that I would love is a whole new wardrobe. That would be tight. Wouldn’t that be tight?
    Jodi: That would be.
    Keke: Extremely awesome.


    Ericka: Any particular designers?
    Keke: No, not any particular designers. Whenever I go to a wardrobe stylist, everything they have I love.


    Ericka: Who normally styles you?
    Not anyone specific yet; we’re still looking around.

    Ericka: Because they always have you looking very cute, very age appropriate.
    I don’t know how they do it! They do it so good. I’m always like, how do you guys do this to me? They turn me into a little fashionista! Everytime I see me I’m like, man, I can’t believe this!


    Jodi: You are a fashionista.
    Keke: Because of you guys.


    Ericka: Thank you so much, Keke.
    Thank you so much.




    Here’s more:
    Keke Palmer’s got Mad Style
    It’s a big year for Keke Palmer
    Keke Palmer takes charge
    Keke Palmer sounds off on bloggers
    Is Keke Palmer the next Raven Symoné?
    Keke Palmer and Joy Bryant get messy

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