As a musical artist, one of the biggest compliments that you can be given is someone telling you that your pen is amazing. This can be in reference to the content an artist writes, the styles they use while writing or just a combination of both on top of several other factors. When it comes to talented pens in the game, there are countless. One of the most overlooked and underrated ones though, happens to be none other than Keri Hilson.
Keri Lynn Hilson was born in Decatur, Georgia. After watching television shows Star Search and Showtime at the Apollo at 12 years old, she knew that she wanted to pursue a musical career. Her mother hired a piano teacher to give her lessons but Keri converted those sessions into vocal lessons since she wanted to be a singer. By the time Hilson was 14, she had secured a record deal with the girl group D’Signe, although they eventually disbanded. Most of Hilson’s teenage years were spent working with producer Anthony Dent as a songwriter and background vocalist for artists such Usher, Ludacris, Kelly Rowland, Toni Braxton, Ciara and Polow da Don. She continued to write songs and provide background vocals throughout the three years she attended Oxford College of Emory University and Emory University. Once she stopped working with Dent, Hilson joined the songwriting and production team, The Clutch. She also began working closer to Polow da Don, who introduced her to Timbaland. She signed to his Mosley Music Group record label in 2006.
Hilson was featured on Timbaland’s chart-topping song ‘The Way I Are’ in 2007 and her buzz kept growing the following years as she hopped on features and made cameos in several music videos. Her debut album In a Perfect World… was released on March 24, 2009 (It got delayed multiple times because Keri wanted it to be perfect). In the United States, it debuted at number four on the Billboard 200 chart, and number one on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, with first-week sales of 94,000 copies. The album earned Hilson two Grammy nominations including Best New Artist and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration (Knock You Down). Although her second album, No Boys Allowed wasn’t as successful as the first, it still spawned the platinum single ‘Pretty Girl Rock.’ As of today, As of 2023, Hilson has not officially released any music as a lead artist since 2011.
Despite the fact that she hasn’t been active in quite some time, her impact will always be felt. Whether it was by herself, with Anthony Dent, Polow da Don, Timbaland or The Clutch, Ms. Keri showed that she has an elite pen throughout her career. To give her the flowers she deserves, check out a gallery of some of the best songs that you may or may not have known that she lent her pen on or completely wrote on her own. Salute to a true talent! Let us know your favorite tracks in the comments.
1. Avant – 4 Minutes
2. Britney Spears – Break The Ice
3. Fabolous ft. Keri Hilson & Ryan Leslie – Everything, Everyday, Everywhere
4. Britney Spears – Gimme More
5. Xzibit – Hey Now (Mean Muggin)
6. Omarion – Ice Box
7. Plies ft. Keri Hilson – Medicine
8. Mariah Carey – Migrate
9. Timbaland ft. Nelly Furtado, Soshy
10. Ludacris ft. Mary J. Blige – Runaway Love
11. Timbaland ft. Keri Hilson, Nicole Scherzinger – Scream
12. Mary J. Blige – Take Me As I Am
Source:Mary J Blige
13. The Pussycat Dolls ft. Timbaland – Wait A Minute
Source:The Pussycat Dolls
14. Keri Hilson ft. Lil Wayne – Turnin Me On
15. Keri Hilson ft. Kanye West & Ne-Yo – Knock You Down
16. Keri Hilson – Slow Dance