Keri Hilson

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About Keri Hilson

A leading figure of the 21st-century pop-R&B boom—both behind the boards and in the spotlight—Keri Hilson made the shift from songwriter to performer look easy when she pulled it off in the late 2000s. Born in Decatur, GA, in 1982, Keri Lynn Hilson started studying music at age 12. As a teenager, she wrote and sang backup on songs by such R&B luminaries as Usher and Ciara; she later joined the songwriting collective The Clutch, which led to her working with superproducer Timbaland. Hilson’s first radio breakthrough came on Timbaland’s blippy 2007 smash “The Way I Are,” a co-write that featured her on its insistent hook. In 2008, she took center stage, releasing a slew of solo singles—including the jumpy Lil Wayne duet “Turnin Me On”—in advance of her debut album, In a Perfect World…, which also included the sumptuous Kanye West and Ne-Yo collab “Knock You Down” and the Justin Timberlake co-write “Slow Dance.” She followed that up with 2010’s No Boys Allowed, which featured cameos from J. Cole, Rick Ross, and Nelly, as well as the confident “Pretty Girl Rock.” Hilson balanced work on her long-awaited third album with an acting career that kept her busy during the 2010s and early 2020s.

Decatur, GA, United States
December 5, 1982

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