As an actress, Keke Palmer has already established herself as one of the fastest rising young stars of her generation. Her talents span from film, television, and music alike.
Palmer was the title character in the Lions Gate Films/Starbucks Entertainment sleeper hit Akeelah and the Bee, opposite actors Laurence Fishburne and Angela Bassett. In the movie, Palmer plays Akeelah Anderson, an eleven year-old girl who participates in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Her breakthrough performance has received praise from many film critics and organizations. Among the list of nominations received, Akeelah and the Bee was listed as one of NBR’s 2006 Top Independent Films of the Year as well as four nominations from the NAACP Image Awards. Palmer alone won an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Motion Picture as well as Outstanding Lead Actress in a Motion Picture by the Black Movie Awards. She has also received nominations for Promising Newcomer by the Chicago Film Critics, Best Actress by the Black Reel Awards, and Best Young Actress by the Broadcast Film Critics Association.
On the small screen, Palmer starred in the Disney Channel Original Movie Jump In! in January of 2007. The premiere broke the networks records for an original television movie premiere with 8.2 million viewers and stood as basic cables most watched program for the entire day. Palmer is also featured on the movie’s soundtrack and is the only artist with two songs on the album. The soundtrack landed at the top of the charts as the thirds best selling album in its first week of release and remained in the top 10 for over a month.
In September of 2007, Palmer’s debut pop/R&B album “So Uncool” was released by Atlantic Records. In support of the release, she embarked on a twelve city summer tour with the WNBA where she performed songs from her debut album as the half time special entertainment as well as headlining Disney’s 2007 Jingle Jam Tour. Palmer also signed a music publishing deal with Cherry Lane Music Publishing Company, Inc. In 2007 as well s signing on to headline Sanrio Inc’s official Hellow Citty CD with the track Come On, Come On released in late 2008.
Keke starred opposite Sam Jackson and Eva Mendes in The Cleaner. The film premiered at the 2007 Toronto Internation Film Festival to strong reviews. In 2008, Miss Palmer received rave reviews for her performance in The Longshots, a true story about the first female to quarterback an all boys team to Pop Warner Nationals.
Palmer began her career with a small role in the feature film Barbershop 2: Back in Business at the age of nine, opposite Queen Latifah. That role led to a series of guest-starring roles on television shows like Strong Medicine, Cold Case, ER, and Law & Order. She later went on to star in the Emmy-Nominated made for TV movie The Wool Cap, opposite William H. Macy. Her performance in the Wool Cap earned her a NAACP Image Award as well as a devoted Screen Actors Guild nomination in the Best Leading Actress category, alongside Charlize Theron, Hilary Swank, Glen Close, and Patricia Heaton. This nomination put Palmer in the record boos as the youngest actor to ever be nominated by the Guild in a Lead Actor category.
Her other film and TV credits include co-starring in the made for television movie Knights of the South Bronx with Ted Danson, a pilot for her own show on Disney Channel, Keke & Jamal, and the Lionsgate film Madea’s Family Reunion starring Tyler perry, Cicely Tyson, and Dr. Maya Angelou.
Keke can be seen as the star of her own hit television show True Jackson, VP on the Nickelodeon Network. It’s about a fifteen year old girl named True Jackson (Palmer) who becomes a vice president at a billion dollar fashion company. When it debuted in November 2008, over 5 million tuned in to watch, making it the largest debut in Nickelodeon’s 29 year history! Recently, Keke was honored with a NAACP Image Award as Best Actress in a Children’s Program for her role as True Jackson. Miss Palmer can also be seen on the big screen playing opposite Kevin Space and Robin Williams in the feature film Shrink which was a crowd please at the Sundance Film Festival.
Being a humanitarian is nothing new to Palmer, dating back to her critically acclaimed performance as Akeelah Anerson, she has always been associated with organizations that work to bring awareness and social change to improvised communities throughout the world. Starting this fall of 2011, Keke will be working side by side with Saving Our Daughters & the YMCA USA to help combat bullying and abuse worldwide.