Keisha WhiteView In iTunes
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Alongside Terri Walker, Beverley Knight, and Jamelia, Keisha White was at the forefront of the resurgent British female R&B scene in the mid-noughties. Born in 1987, White grew up in Enfield, London, where -- inspired by her mother, a professional singer -- she developed a passion for music. At 14 years old, she was invited to perform in front of Warner Records executives who were so impressed at her a cappella rendition of Aretha Franklin's "If You Lose a Good Thing" that they signed her on the spot. After guesting on "The Harder They Come," a track from Paul Oakenfold's Bunkka album, and supporting Mis-Teeq on their U.K. tour, White released her debut single, "Watcha Gonna Do," in 2004. Follow-up "Don't Care Who Knows," a duet with U.S. hip-hop star Cassidy, gave her a first solo U.K. Top 40 single a year later, and after more support slots with UB40, Lemar, and Black Eyed Peas, her debut album, Seventeen, was released. Despite critical acclaim, however, it failed to enter the charts, and White spent the next year refocusing and re-recording, the result of which was Out of My Hands, an album featuring a selection of Seventeen tracks as well as new songs produced by the likes of Scott Storch. After "The Weakness in Me," a Joan Armatrading cover, became her biggest hit, reaching number 17, and "Don't Mistake Me" became her biggest airplay hit, the album was released, reaching number 55 in 2006. Final single "I Choose Life" gave her a sixth Top 75 single, and she was later nominated for Best U.K. Female at the 2006 MOBO Awards, only to be beaten by Corinne Bailey Rae. White has also appeared in the Halle Berry movie Catwoman thanks to a recommendation from Alicia Keys, and sang the theme tune to the hit children's BBC TV show Tracy Beaker. ~ Jon O'Brien
March, 1986 in London, England