By Ryan Carr
Keri Hilson burst onto the R&B scene as a singer-songwriter late last year with her hit single ‘Turnin’ Me On’, which reached #2 on R&B 100 and #15 on the Billboard Hot 100, but she wasn’t an unknown. Starting in 2001, Hilson started her songwriting career and in 2004 was featured on Xzibit’s ‘Hey Now (Mean Muggin)’, which charted on the Billboard Hot 100. Eventually her songwriting was noticed, and she has since written for Ciara and Ludacris and is credited as both a writer and backing vocalist on Britney Spears’ Blackout.
She was born Keri Lynn Hilson October 1982 in Decatur, Georgia. Early on she expressed an interest in music and she studied singing and piano. At 14, she joined the girl group D’Signe, but the group was dropped from their label before they could release an album. After graduating high school she attended Emory University, where she majored in theatre.
Her first big break was in 2006, when she was signed to Timbaland’s Mosley Music Group, which helped her get featured on Diddy’s album Press Play and Lloyd Banks’ single ‘Help’, which peaked at #77 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. When asked what producer she thought could elevate her to the status she wanted, she replied with Timbaland. After singing to him over the phone, they arraigned a meeting and starting recording at The Hit Factory in New York City.
With her hit single ‘Knock You Down’ currently perched at #15 on the Billboard Top 100, and her debut album In A Perfect World… at #24 on the Billboard Top 100 R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, Keri Hilson’s career as an R&B artist is obviously just beginning.