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Kelis

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Biography

Harlem, New York NY, United States (1999 – present)

Kelis Rogers-Jones (born Kelis Rogers on August 21, 1979), is known simply by her first name Kelis (pronounced Kuh-lees). Her name is an amalgamation of her parents’ first names, her black father Kenneth and Chinese-Puerto Rican mother Eveliss. Growing up in Middle Class Harlem, New York Kelis’ childhood was not a deprived one. But she was not without problems, after her parents realised they could not cope with her unruly behavior (Kelis shaved all her hair off at age 13, soon afterwards dyeing the regrowth the colors of the rainbow), Kelis moved out of the family home, continuing her private education.

After a short spell working as a model, 5’10” Kelis began appearing on songs by Neptunes produced rappers such as ‘Got Your Money’ by the late rapper Ol’ Dirty Bastard. Soon afterwards, she released her debut album, Kaleidoscope in 1999 of which the first single was ‘Caught Out There,’ a song based on the time she caught her boyfriend cheating on her, and she beat him. The video feautures Kelis leading a pack of angry women down the street screaming ‘I hate you so much right now!’. The album was released in USA, Europe and Asia, but did not find much audience in the USA. Not a great success, it only sold 249,000 copies to date.

After finding her largest audience in Europe, Kelis released her second album titled Wanderland (2001) in Europe only, which like her first album did not fare well. It only sold 80,000 copies and was entirely produced by The Neptunes (Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo) again, similarly to her debut. Only one single was released ‘Young Fresh N New’.

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