KeKe Wyatt isn’t entirely happy about her album, Unbelievable! , which drops today.
The June 14 release of Keke Wyatt’s third album should be a joyous occasion, but the R&B songbird said, “I’m happy and sad because the music was leaked a couple of days ago. They think we supposed to sing for free, but ain’t nobody out their flipping burgers for free."
In addition to her gold-selling 2001 debut album, Soul Sista, Keke sang her way into everyone’s hearts with her smash duets “My First Love” and “Nothing In This World” with platinum-selling recording artist Avant. The world saw her as a rising star, but behind closed doors she was dealing with extreme domestic abuse at the hands of her manager and ex-husband that ultimately resulted in a stabbing incident where she faced 10 to 20 years in jail.
Flash to present. Keke has been cleared of all charges, she’s divorced her abusive husband, and she and her four young children moved to Atlanta. Now she is happily remarried, in love, and still gleaming from the birth of her new son, who is now nine months old. All that happiness is felt in the song “Light Me Up”.
“Going from a miserable and abusive relationship for 10 years from the age of 18 to 28 is kind of a drag," KeKe told S2S. "I really didn’t have things to sing about that were happy. Then I was just singing songs that were available."
She continued, "Now I’m writing. And sometimes I’m not necessarily going back to where I was, but I’m able to get it out now. It’s like a release for me. So, I’m able to release some of that horrible mess that I went through, and now I’m happy.”
KeKe’s fans must feel the same way. They voted online to call her album Unbelievable! because it is so unbelievable that Keke is happy now.
This album is sure to strike a chord with lovers of old-school music. At the urging of her lawyer Roger Pattinson, Keke does a cover of the Cherrelle and Alexander O’Neal classic “Saturday Love” with Ruben Studdard. She also did Miki Howard’s women’s anthem “Love Under New Management”, which is a testimony of her life for obvious reasons. But she also brings us the sexy with the standout song, “Tap Out”, describing how sometimes you just have to call a time-out when the lovemaking gets to be too much.
“I’m married, so I can be spiritual yet sexual. I mean that’s the way God designed it,” said Keke about the contrast of such a provocative song and the powerfully moving a cappella version of “His Eye Is On The Sparrow”, which closes out the album.
Between being a wife, mother, and a successful singer-actress, Keke advocates for victims of domestic abuse as the new spokesperson for the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. “Our goal is to make sure every home is a safe home," she explained.
After the violent murder of her best friend, Miranda Wilson, Keke said “I feel blessed to even still be here. So many didn’t make it.” Miranda was murdered by her ex-boyfriend who also shot her new boyfriend, his friend and his friend’s girlfriend.
All of this that makes up Keke’s life will be captured on a new reality show coming later this year about women in the world of R&B with singers Tweet, and Syleena Johnson among others. The show doesn’t have a title or a debut date yet, but we will definitely be looking out for it.
S2S will be catching up with Ms. Keke again on Thursday at Justin’s in Atlanta for her album release party. Keke sends thanks to her fans and you can hit her up on Twitter at kekewyattsings.
— Stephanie Dayton
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