Keke Palmer Met 1 of Her Music Idols at 12, Inspiring Her to Take up a New Hobby

Keke Palmer has led a wildly versatile career, appearing in both movies and TV shows while also working in the music business. But while Palmer’s biggest fans might know her full name, they might not know about the musical icon that inspired her to change her life. Here’s what Palmer recently revealed.

Keke Palmer landed her breakthrough movie role in 2006

keke palmer music
Actress/singer Keke Palmer films a music video for her new single on “All My Girlz”, for Atlantic Records, on April 15, 2006 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Atlantic Records)

These days, Palmer is known as a television star as well as a film actor and singer. In recent years, she’s starred in hits such as Hustlers and Lightyear. But Palmer’s rise to fame began in the early 2000s. Her first movie, in fact, was 2004’s Barbershop 2: Back in Business, wherein she played the niece of Queen Latifah’s character Gina.

Two years later, Palmer’s next movie marked her breakthrough role. In 2006’s Akeelah and the Bee, the actor plays the titular Akeelah Anderson, an 11-year-old participating in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. The movie became a box office hit, earning Palmer rave reviews and a handful of awards too. Since then, she’s made nearly 20 movies, including Hustlers.

The ‘Lightyear’ star had a life-changing meeting at age 12

In addition to acting, Palmer has also had a lifelong love of music. She released her first extended play in 2007, followed soon after that by her first studio album titled So Uncool. In the years since, she has released several more mixtapes and EPs. But Palmer revealed how a meeting with one of her heroes led her to change her habits going forward.

“The most memorable encounter would probably be when I met Brandy, and she gave me a journal,” Palmer told Elle UK. “And I actually wrote in that journal from the time that she gave it to me when I was like 12 up until there were no more pages. I think I finished it when I was like 14. But I kept journals after that. Journaling is something that continues to be a moment of peace, refuge, and expression for me.”

Keke Palmer is a lead in the new Jordan Peele movie ‘Nope’

Palmer doesn’t reveal how her journaling has shaped her career. But one has to imagine these periods of reflection often led to inspiration for the young star. In 2020, she released two more EPs, Virgo Tendencies, Part 1 and Virgo Tendencies, Part 2. She’s also branched out on the small screen, becoming a Good Morning America host and even landing an Emmy for her short-form series Turnt Up With The Taylors.

But now she’s back focusing on her movie career, it seems. Palmer voices a key character in Disney and Pixar’s Lightyear, for example. And her upcoming role in Jordan Peele’s third movie, Nope, really has fans excited. Peele’s first two movies, Get Out and Us, became critical darlings and box office smashes alike. And Nope could continue that trend, especially with a cast that includes Daniel Kaluuya, Palmer, and Steven Yeun.

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