Sunday, October 16, 2011

Keith Sweat Formerly Known As John Crier

Near the infamous Apollo Theater, Keith Sweat was born in Harlem, New York on July 22, 1961 to Mr. and Mrs. Charles and Juanita Crier as John Crier.  Working as Macy’s clerk while pursuing his Communications degree from City College of New York, Sweat was on his way to stardom.  Although Keith worked in the New York Stock Exchange after earning his degree in 1983, he continued his venture in the world of entertainment as well.

As a member of the band, Jamilah in Harlem, in 1975, Sweat traveled and performed throughout New Jersey, Connecticut, and New York.  Ready to show the world who Keith Sweat, the artist was, he branched out on his own in 1984 hitting the nightclub arenas in New York.  Stepping out on faith, Keith recorded his first single, My Mind is Made Up with Stadium Records, an independent label that had only released two albums.  Apparently his decision was a great one, as he co-wrote and co-produced the single, You Are The One For Me for GQ, a group under Stadium Records.  What is more, in 1985 Sweat also wrote and produced the single, All I Want is My Baby for artist, Roberta Gilliam.

Mr. Sweat really stepped into the limelight in November 1987 when he released his debut album, Make It Last Forever, which started his claim to fame.  The single, Make It Last Forever skyrocketed towards the top of not only the R&B charts, but also the Pop charts with four other songs landing a spot on both charts.  His single, I Want Her reached No.1 on the R&B charts.  Subsequently, Keith stepped away from his position as a brokerage assistant on Wall Street.   Proving his decision to resign to be the right one, Sweat released a second album entitled, I’ll Give All My Love to You in 1990 and it incredibly reach No.3 on the Billboard 200 chart.   I’ll Give All My Love to You also reached the No.1 spot on the R&B charts along with other singles that landed spots on the R&B and pop charts as well.  What is more, Mr. Sweat released his third album by the latter part of 1991, Keep It Comin’ and its title track reached the No.1 spot on the R&B charts.  However, the album did not peek at the same level of success as did his first two albums, but it did debut in the Top 20.  Other albums released by Keith Sweat were Get Up On It, Keith Sweat, and Still In The Game, just to name a few.

Proving to the world that he was a ‘jack of all trades’, Keith opened his own nightclub, The Industry and in 1992, he founded the male music group Silk under his record label, Keia Records, named after his second daughter who was born that same year.  After several hits with Silk including the single Freak Me written by Keith, he founded a female group, Kut Klose in 1995, of which he has a couple of singles featuring the lead singer of Kut Klose, Athena.  Mr. Sweat also served as producer in the 1990s to other groups such as Dru Hill and Ol’ Skool (discovered himself in 1997).  After a few year hiatus from the forefront, Keith Sweat teamed up with the late, great Gerald Levert and Johnny Gill to form a group by the name of LSG (Levert, Sweat, & Gill).  The trio’s album entitled, Levert. Sweat, Gill. reached No.4 on the U.S. Billboard 200 and was certified double platinum according to Keith Sweat’s official website.

Keith has also tried his hand in the acting world.  According to Keith’s website, “In 1991 he appeared on television in an episode of the hit show New York Undercover where he played himself. In the 1997 film New Jack City he had a brief part where he played the wedding singer at an ill-fated wedding. Also in 1997 he appeared on the TV show Martin in an episode entitled "Stakeout" where he played a detective. He also appeared on Wayans Bros. on an episode entitled ‘Marlon Goes on the Road.’”  Most recently, Sweat appeared as himself on an episode of season four of BET’s The Game.

Outside of the world of entertainment, Keith is also a family man.  He has four children:  Keyshia (1990), Keia (1992), Jordan, (1995), and Justin (1998).  In 1992, Sweat married former Real Housewives of Atlanta star, Lisa Wu-Hartwell (Children: Jordan and Justin); however after 10 years of marriage, the two divorced in 2002. 
One quote that I found interesting, however by Keith Sweat says, “You can't stop loving or wanting to love because when it’s Garcelle Beauvais right it's the best thing in the world. When you're in a relationship and its good, even if nothing else in your life is right, you feel like your whole world is complete."

Just a little over three decades later, Mr. Sweat still has it!  I had the fun opportunity to attend one of his concerts in my hometown of Jackson, MS on Thursday, October 13, 2011, and I must say, I truly enjoyed every minute of his performance.  His music is the type of music that in my opinion, will be heard and recognized for years to come.

If you too enjoy the music of Mr. Keith Sweat, why don’t you Share In The BlogLedge and post your sentiments about this topic.

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