This is an American singer whose career on the chart turned out to be fairly long-running, and also contained plenty of ups and downs. Because she has had over 20 hit singles in the UK, I shall pick out some of my highlights. I first came across Kelis around the beginning of 2000, when I was probably still in a daze following all of that millennium excitement, and I was keen to discover who was tipped to be the next big thing.
I do remember that her debut single “Caught Out There” was played rather a lot on the radio, and there were a lot of people insisting that there was no doubt that she was going to be a success. This one definitely caught people’s attention, there was little else like this on the chart at the time, and she even had green hair and everything (not as great as blue hair of course, but still rather notable).
In February 2000, “Caught Out There” appeared on the lower end on the chart on import, such was the anticipation to buy this. And then in March 2000, this reached no. 4, and it began to look like a new star really had been discovered. This was followed by some more great singles in 2000, including “Good Stuff”, “Got Your Money”, and “Get Along With You” (although the video to this one freaked me out somewhat).
But by the time that “Young Fresh ‘N’ New” was released in November 2001 and reached only no. 32, and then her second album tanked, it began to look like her career was faltering a little. She was always good value in interviews though, informing one helpless hack around this time “these questions are horrible. You’re horrible. Who are you?”.
Thankfully by August 2003 she had a boost when she collaborated with really hot producer Richard X on “Finest Dreams”, which returned her to the Top Ten for the first time in a while. But what would come next is for many the song that defines her career. In January 2004 “Milkshake” was released, and this went on to spend four consecutive weeks at no. 2.
Although I must admit that I will always prefer “Caught Out There” myself as it was the one that so memorably launched her, this is considered to be one of the classics of its era, and this was also her first and only Top Ten hit single in America. June 2004’s “Trick Me” was equally great, and this also reached no. 2. Suddenly, she was in demand and collaborating with lots of big singing stars.
These included Andre 3000, Nas (briefly her husband), Busta Rhymes, and Cee-Lo. She was still having hits over a decade on from her debut when in April 2010 when “Acapella” made the Top Ten. But little has been heard from her since, her most high-profile appearance in more recent years was when she appeared on The Masked Singer and finished in eighth place, just ahead of Teddy Sheringham. Er, great.