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Keith Sweat, a Harlem-born R&B singer/songwriter known for his distinctive "whining" vocal style, co-produced 1984/1985 singles by GQ and Roberta Gilliam and issued independent singles of his own ("Lucky Seven" and "My Mind Is Made Up"), but he didn't release his debut full-length, Make It Last Forever, until November 1987. The album sold over three million copies, spawning the hits "I Want Her" (number one R&B, number five pop), "Something Just Ain't Right" (number three R&B), "Make It Last Forever" (number two R&B), and "Don't Stop Your Love" (number nine R&B). It was followed in 1990 by I'll Give All My Love to You, another million-seller, which featured the hits "Make You Sweat" (number one R&B, number 14 pop), "Merry Go Round" (number two R&B), "I'll Give All My Love to You" (number one R&B, number seven pop), and "Your Love, Pt. 2" (number four R&B). Sweat's third album was Keep It Comin', an R&B chart-topper at the end of 1991, whose title track was another number one R&B hit. From then on, his profile slowly dipped, but he maintained a devoted following while recording the occasional contemporary set, including Get Up on It (1994), Keith Sweat (1996), Still in the Game (1998). Didn't See Me Coming (2000), Rebirth (2002), Just Me (an R&B chart-topper in 2008), Ridin' Solo (2010), and 'Til the Morning (2011). Two albums recorded with Gerald LeVert and Johnny Gill, billed as LSG (and released in 1997 and 2003), were considerably successful, and he also produced a handful of '90s acts (Silk, Kut Klose, Ol' Skool, Dru Hill). During the 2000s, he hosted a syndicated radio program called The Sweat Hotel and starred in the Centric channel's reality program Keith Sweat's Platinum House, in which he facilitated a turbulent Dru Hill reunion.
Keith Sweat (born July 22, 1961) is an American R&B/soul, singer-songwriter, record producer, radio personality and an innovator of New Jack Swing."Keith Sweat". Facebook. Retrieved 2012-04-26.
ContentsBiography1.1 Music career1.2 1975–1984: with Jamilah1.3 1984–1987: Stadium Records1.4 1987–1993: The New Jack Swing era1.5 1994–2001: The Still In The Game era1.6 2002–present: The Rebirth era
Keith Sweat was born in Harlem, New York to Juanita Sweat, a hairdresser, and Charles Crier (died 1973), a factory worker. Juanita raised their five children alone after Crier's death. He worked as a night stock boy at Macy's and then a mailroom clerk at Paine Webber. In just four years he worked his way up to a lucrative brokerage assistant job on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Sweat worked for the commodities market in the New York Mercantile Exchange. Sweat sang at nightclubs throughout New York City until he was discovered and offered a recording contract with Elektra Records in 1987.
He has three daughters. He named his record label, Keia Entertainment, after his younger daughter. From 1992 until 2002, he was married to Real Housewives of Atlanta co-star Lisa Wu Hartwell. With her, he had two sons.
1975–1984: with Jamilah
Sweat started his musical career as a member of a Harlem band called "Jamilah" in 1975. With the help of Jamilah, Sweat was able to hone his craft as a lead singer by performing regionally throughout the tri-State area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. The group was started by bassist Larry Peoples, guitarist Michael Samuels, and drummer Walter Bradley. Additional members of the group included Peter DaCosta (vocals), Joseph McGeachy (sax), Dwight Banks (trumpet), and Kenneth Varner (keyboards).
1984–1987: Stadium Records
After leaving the group in 1984 to begin a solo career, he sang at nightclubs throughout New York City and landed a chance to record for the independent label, Stadium Records. Sweat recorded only one tune for Stadium called "My Mind Is Made Up", which was their third ever release, but on Stadium's first release, he is credited as co-writer and co-producer of "You Are The One For Me", the last recording ever made by the group GQ. One of GQ's original members is his uncle, Keith "Sabu" Crier.
1987–1993: The New Jack Swing era
Later in 1987, Keith Sweat was discovered by Vincent Davis and offered a recording contract with his label, Vintertainment Records, which was founded in 1983 on the foundations of early Hip-Hop and otherwise best known for releasing Joeski Love's "Pee Wee Dance" in 1985. Vintertainment was distributed by Elektra Records from 1985 until it ceased operations in 1990, in which case Elektra opted to buy Keith's contract outright and have him record directly for the label.. On November 25, 1987, Sweat released his debut solo studio album Make It Last Forever, which sold three million copies. The biggest hit from this album was the song that inaugurated the New Jack Swing era "I Want Her" (#1 R&B/#5 Pop), which was nominated for the 1989 Soul Train Best R&B/Urban Contemporary Song of the Year award, while the title track from the album hit #2 on the R&B charts. Sweat reached the charts again with his second album I'll Give All My Love to You (1990) which hit #6 on the Billboard 200 chart. He released his third album, Keep It Comin' in 1991, which debuted in the top 20 of the album chart. Sweat then moved from New York to Atlanta, where he founded the Keia Records label that would feature Silk & Kut Klose.
1994–2001: The Still In The Game era
Sweat released his fourth album Get Up on It in the summer of 1994, and his self-titled fifth album in 1996. Both albums reached the top ten on the Billboard 200. The single co/produced and written by Eric McCaine "Twisted" featuring R&B group Kut Klose hit #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and "Nobody" hit #3, which made them Sweat's biggest hits to date. The song "Just A Touch", with Traci Hale providing background vocals, has earned a regular spot on radio playlists. "Just A Touch" was a cover of the 1979 song "Just a Touch of Love" by Slave. Sweat's sixth album, Still in the Game was released in 1998, hitting #6 on the Billboard 200, and #2 on the R&B/Hip Hop albums chart. It featured the singles "Come and Get With Me" (which featured Snoop Dogg) (#12 Hot 100) and "I'm Not Ready" (#16 Hot 100). Sweat's success on the charts started to diminish in 2000, when he released the album Didn't See Me Coming. None of the singles from the album reached the top forty. They were moderate hits on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart.
2002–present: The Rebirth era
On August 13, 2002, Keith Sweat released his eighth album, Rebirth. The single "One on One" reached #75 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #44 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart. His 2008 album Just Me fared better with its first single, "Love U Better (featuring Keyshia Cole)" being played on Urban radio stations for about a year before the album's release. Sweat is currently signed to Kedar Records and released his tenth studio album entitled Ridin' Solo on June 22, 2010. The lead single taken from the album is "Test Drive" and featured label-mate Joe. Since 2007, Sweat has been the host of a nationally syndicated radio program based upon the Quiet storm format. The Keith Sweat Hotel (known as The Quiet Storm with Keith Sweat on WBLS in New York City) is syndicated through Premiere Radio Networks.People Weekly, September 26, 1988, p. 115 People Weekly January 27, 1997, p. 69. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1355/is_22_113/ai_n27496996 "Real Housewives of Atlanta: Ed and Lisa Wu Hartwell". Essence.com. Retrieved 9 March 2015. "Real Housewives of Atlanta: Ed and Lisa Wu Hartwell". Essence.com. Retrieved March 9, 2015. David Hinckley (October 1, 2013). "Keith 'Sabu' Crier, bass player for disco group GQ, dead at 58". Daily News. "Ridin' Solo: Keith Sweat: Music". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2011-08-17. "Premiere Radio Networks - Home". Premiereradio.com. Retrieved 2011-08-17.
In 1992, Sweat discovered the group Silk, and helped craft their debut album, Lose Control, which hit #7 on the Billboard 200 album chart. The album's single "Freak Me" hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on May 1, 1993. In 1993, Sweat discovered the Atlanta-based female R&B group Kut Klose. Sweat also produced the group's debut album Surrender, which produced the their biggest hit single "I Like", peaking to #8 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart. In the fall of 1997, Sweat discovered the group Ol' Skool and helped with their self-titled debut. He was on their biggest single, "Am I Dreaming," which featured R&B group Xscape.
Sweat also formed the R&B supergroup LSG with Gerald Levert and Johnny Gill, and released their self-titled debut Levert.Sweat.Gill in 1997. That album featured "My Body", which became a hit single. The album was certified double platinum and reached #4 on the U.S. Billboard 200.