Keith Sweat ia a longtime American R&B and Soul singer and an actor. He is considered as one of the pioneers in the New Jack Swing genre which emerged in the 80’s. He is a very versatile artist: he is a singer, a producer, an actor, a radio hist and a businessman.
He was born as Keith Douglas Crier on July 22, 1961 in Harlem in New York, United States. His mother was Juanita Thompson and she was a hairdresser. His father worked in a factory and the family’s incomes weren’t very big. He learned how to live a modest life and was never ashamed of it.
Keith finished his studies from a college in New York called “City College of New York” and gained a degree in “communications” which was his major. He always tried his best to suceed in things since he knew how hard life would be for his children if they had to live like he did.
After his father died in 1973, his mother had to raise her children alone. Keith helped to insure enough money for a normal living by getting a job at Macy’s. After Macy’s he relocated to Paine Webber. His mother is very thankful for his help since he helped to feed the family quite literally.
He was a hardworking young man who wanted to succeed so eventually he rose to a job of an assistant at the New York Stock Exchange. He said that he was always ambitious and that being a stockbroker helped him realize the value of money and hard work to earn it.
In 1975, he joined Harlem based band called „Jamilah“. This was his wish for the future, since he sang from a very early age and wanted to make a career of it.
He became their lead singer, alongside the bassist Larry, guitarist Michael and a drummer Walter. He performed with the band in New York, New Jersey and in the nearby Connecticut.
Keith decided to start his solo career so he began seeking gigs through New York’s nightclubs. He managed to record one single „My Mind is Made Up“ released by Stadium record label. This was a small record label, but he was very proud of himself and he decided to work even harder in order to fulfill his dreams.
In 1985 he wrote a beautiful song for Roberta Giliam named “All I Want is my Baby”, and at the end he even produced it at her request. She noticed his talent and decided it would be great to work with him.
In 1987, the owner of Vintertainment Records, Vincent Dawis, saw Keith’s performance and noticed his talent so Keith released his first studio album called „Make It Last Forever“. Vinterteinment was a record label owned by Elektra Records.
The album was a great success and eventually Keith sold over 3 million copies of it. „I Want Her“ was his biggest hit from this album and was nominated for the Soul Trasin Award in 1989. His new album „I’ll Give All My Love To You“ from 1990 also peeked high on Billboard charts.
In 1991, his third album was finished and released under the title „Keep it comin“.
He played a singer at the wedding in a popular movie from 1991: “New Jack City”. Keith claimed that he would love to try acting a bit more eventually and that he had a blast making the movie.
New Jack City was connected to New Jack Swing music genre. This style is a mix of hip-hop, soul, funk and even rap.It was very popular during a period of five to six years.
Keith Sweat is considered as one of the pioneers and critics of that time called his first album “Make It Last Forever” a door to New Jack Swing.
Sweat was very intrested in music production too so after he learned about the group called „Silk“ he helped them to create their first album. He was also the producer for a female group called „Kut Klose“. He produced their first album „Surrender“ which was noticed on the charts.
In 1994, Keith finally released a new album „Get Up On It“ in 1994, and another one „Keith Sweat“ two years later. Both albums had success on the charts and in sales. The biggest hits were “How Do You Like It” and “When I give my Love”.
All of this albums were released through his record label called Keia Records. It was named after his daughter. He is very connected to her and wanted to make something she will remember as a special tribute to her.
The same year he guest appeared as himself in a TV show called “New York Undercover”. He loved acting and stated that if he didn’t make a career in music, he would definitely choose acting.
In 1996 he launched a hit single called “Twisted”. This single made it to the top of Billboard charts.
Sweat had a great interest in finding undiscovered talneted musicians. In 1997 he discovered „Ol’ Skool“, a music group which came from Missouri and he helped them release their first debut single.
He was responsible for their success and the success of their hit single called „My Body“. The album reached platinum in the States. This was one of the proudest moments in his life.
In 1997 he played a role of detective in a TV series “Martin”, episode “Stakeout”. The same year he had a small role in “The Wayans Bros”. It was in the episode “Marlon Goes on the Road.” His wish to try acting more was finally coming true.
The same year he received an American Music Award as the Favorite R&B artist of the year. He was very emotional about it because he recalled all of the hard moments in his life.
The album No. 6 was released in 1998 under the title „Still in the Game“ and it reached No.2 on R&B Hip Hop chart. A very popular single from this album was „Come and Get With Me“ made in collaboration with Snoop Dog. He liked collaborating with true rappers because he wanted to shake up his romantic, sexy lines with some hard rapping.
In 1999 he received an American Music Award for Favorite Male R&B/Soul Artist. He was nominated for this reward a few times before but always lost very tightly. He lost it twice to a hit singer MC Hammer.
In 2000 he released his 7th album „Didn’t See Me Coming“ which was his worst sold album ever. It was dissapointing but he continued his hard work and came back to the scene stronger.
His eight album „Rebirth“ gained better critics and „One on One“ was the most popular song from the album. But still, this album didn’t reach half a sales as his other albums did.
In 2008 he released „Just Me“, his 9th album. In 2010, his record label Kedar Records, released his 10th album „Ridin’ Solo“.
In 2007 he became a radio host on WLBS radio station in NY. The show is called “The Sweat Hotel” and it plays 70’s music. The show was followed by a CD named “Sweat Hotel Live”.
In 2013 he also received a Soultrain Lifetime Award. He still goes on tours a lot and hosts a lot of events. People seem to really like him for his personality.
Although he doesn’t release new albums anymore, he helps the production of many other artist’s album. He tries to upgrade their music.
He organizes a festival called “SweatFest” which occures on Montego Bay in Jamaica, where his friends, associates and singers he produced singles for, make an appearance and sing. The first festival was in 2015 with guest stars Sisqo and Teddy Riley.
In 2017 he appeared in a TV show called “Hell’s Kitchen” and was a guest on “The Tonight Show” with Jimmy Fallon. He loved spending time with the hosts.
He also starred in the reality TV show aired on Centric Channel: it was in “Keith Sweat’s Platinum House” where the main theme was trying to reunite and produce music for the group called Dru Hill. He was their producer in the 90’s.
In 1992, he married Lisa Hartwell, a star of „The Real Housewives of Atlanta“. They have two children together: sons Justin and Jordan. They divorced in 2002.
In 2003 he gained custody of their two sons. Although the judge stated that he wasn’t a good husband to Lisa, he is far better father to the boys than her. She was told that she liked money more than her children and there have been several fights the couple had about this.
He is a father of three daughters too. Mother’s name isn’t revealed. He has one more son outside marriage: Joshua.
All together, the media portrays him as a man who cares about his family a lot and therefore he also tries to spend a lot of time with them.
Full name: Keith Douglas Crier
Date of birth: July 22, 1961
Birthplace: Harlem, New York, United States
Profession: singer, songwriter, producer, businessman
Net Worth: $300,000