Keke Palmer recently shut down a Twitter user who tried to compare her stacked Hollywood career resume to Zendaya’s illustrious film career.
The drama unfolded on Saturday when a social media user by the name of @NBAgladiator claimed “colorism” was the reason why both actresses achieved different types of “mainstream popularity.” Both leading ladies broke out into the industry on popular children’s TV shows before achieving stardom in major Blockbuster films, music, and the Emmys.
Palmer, who is the star of Jordan Peele’s box office smash Nope, quickly addressed the controversial tweet after it went soaring across the internet.
Keke Palmer may be getting a ton of shine now due to her latest role in Nope and Krystin Ver Linden’s revenge thriller Alice, not to mention her stellar voice-over appearances in Disneys Lightyear and Nextlfix’s Human Resources. But the Chicago native has been dominating Hollywood since she was a child. From her adorable role as True Jackson on Nickolodean to Akilah and The Bee, Palmer has been a household name over the last decade.
The Harvey, Illinois, native began singing in the church choir at age 5. Shortly after, her family moved to Los Angeles, where she was quickly thrust into the spotlight working as an actress. The vibrant actress landed her first role in 2004’s Barbershop 2: Back in Business.
Sharon Palmer, the star’s mother, recently spoke to British Vogue about the early beginnings of her daughter’s career. Mrs. Palmer traveled “four days in a minivan” to LA, with all of the family in tow, to support Keke when she got her first big break in Barbershop 2.
“I had two-year-old twins,” the supportive mother shared. “Loreal (Keke’s older sister) was 15 and Keke was 10. We put a potty chair in the car and potty-trained the twins all the way here.”
Palmer also shared sweet memories of her early acting days, noting how she “felt like Dorothy [in The Wizard of Oz]” when her dreams began coming into fruition.
“I felt like me and my family were following the yellow brick road. Everything that I was dreaming was actually happening. You know, as a child, everything is like a fairy tale to you, everything is so magical. I remember riding in the car, and when we got there, it was everything I wanted. We were all together as a family. I was doing something that I loved. My parents were supporting me. They believed in me. I had no worries,” the BET award nominee added.
2006’s Akeelah and the Bee marked Palmer’s first leading role. The young actress portrayed an 11-year-old girl named Akeelah who competes in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Palmer won an NAACP Image Award for her outstanding on-screen performance.
In 2008, the “Bossy” singer rose to fame as the star of her very own Nickelodeon series True Jackson, VP. Three years later, Keke Palmer made several history-making career moves. The star became the youngest talk show host in television history when she landed her own BET talk show called Just Keke in 2014. That same year, Palmer broke barriers as the first Black actress to play Cinderella on Broadway.
“I waited my entire life for a moment like that,” she told Essence in 2016 about the career-defining move. “I hate saying it was a huge deal that I was the first African American to ever be a part of this musical. It’s great, but I also want people to feel like it’s crazy, because it shouldn’t always be this way. But I loved that my little brother and sister got to watch this show and actually see a diverse world just like the one around them.”
Music, TV, and the Future
Following success for her pivotal role in 2015’s Scream Queens, Palmer continued to show off her diverse talent in the music industry. She released the music video for her song “I Don’t Belong To You”, and a year later, the actress churned out her Lauren EP.
Eventually, the Grease! live alum launched her own independent record label called Big Boss Entertainment at 24 years old.
The Ice Age: Collision Course actress won a daytime Emmy for co-hosting Good Morning America’s third hour in 2019. The young star hosted the energetic morning show alongside Michael Strahan and Sara Haines, but unfortunately, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the network ended up canceling the program in August 2020. While disappointing, Palmer continued to shake up the TV world. She hosted the VMAs that same month, and now, the inimitable multi-hyphenate is gearing up to host NBC’s iconic game show “The Password” later this year.
It feels like Palmer is just getting started with her phenomenal Hollywood career because there’s so much more ahead for the bright star. Palmer is set to make her directorial debut with Big Boss, a documentary that will detail the ups and downs of her music career, with an album to follow shortly after. During her recent interview with British Vogue, Palmer described the forthcoming project as “’a collection of different vibes’ that represents who she is as a woman coming into herself.” Fans can expect to hear a revamped version of her viral smash “Bottoms Up”, a song that she said is an ode to dismantling the patriarchy.
“You feel shamed by being a boss – especially as a female,” she explained. “It’s like, only a man is allowed to have the kind of attributes that I have.”