Kirby Lauryen, alternately known as Kirby Dockery and simply Kirby, is an R&B artist who achieved prominence as a songwriter during the mid-2010s. After racking up writing credits for major acts like Kanye West, Paul McCartney, and Beyoncé, she launched a solo career with singles like 2016's "Loved by You" and 2017's "Vain," both of which featured a vintage Southern soul vibe.
Born in Memphis, Tennessee and raised in Southaven, Mississippi, she attended Berklee College of Music on a scholarship but opted to forgo her studies to kickstart her career in Atlanta. Unable to gain traction, she returned to Memphis, continued to work on her storytelling-oriented songwriting, and opened for Anthony Hamilton, Kem, and Raheem DeVaughn. Using social media, she initiated a "song a day" project and landed a publishing deal with Roc Nation. She subsequently relocated to Los Angeles and co-wrote songs for the likes of Kelly Rowland, Jennifer Lopez, Keyshia Cole, Common, and Ariana Grande, all of which were released in 2014. Early the following year, she truly broke through as one of the co-writers of Kanye West and Paul McCartney's Top 40 pop hit "Only One" and Rihanna, West, and McCartney's Top Five "FourFiveSeconds." Additionally, she penned "Die with You," Beyoncé's wedding anniversary dedication to husband Jay-Z, and placed multiple songs on albums by Joy Enriquez, Elijah Blake, and Monica.
In 2016, Lauryen made her proper debut as a recording artist when she released "Loved by You," a Southern-styled ballad made with Jeff Gitelman. A second single, the soulful "Vain," appeared in 2017, followed two years later by "Kool Aid." ~ Andy Kellman