When I think of Keke Palmer, I think of talk shows. Of "True Jackson: VP" and "Scream Queens." Even "Akeelah and the Bee"! But I rarely think of music -- and she's ready to change that.
It seemed odd when Palmer took a break from hosting this past weekend's MTV Video Music Awards to perform her single "Snack" (albeit a way more PG version), but she exhibited fire vocals -- even if they were probably lip-synced -- and stunned in a neon aesthetic with her back-up dancers, so we bopped our heads along and enjoyed. But if we look closer, we find that Palmer has actually been on the cusp of a blossoming music career for some time.
She released a debut studio album, "So Uncool" in 2007 at just 14 years old. Of course, the fact that she was already a Nickelodeon and Disney Channel sweetheart probably didn't hurt, and it's not unusual that a singing career didn't take off during her tween years -- she had other things to do! But since then, Palmer has released some mixtapes, singles and even EPs here and there. Maybe we just haven't been paying attention.
Within just the past year, though, Palmer's been sneakily releasing music that she's obviously ready to share. An EP (that seems long enough to be an album), "Virgo Tendencies, Pt. 1," was put out on Aug. 28, featuring some of the singles she's shared on her Instagram stories and YouTube. A quick scroll through her Spotify page, too, reveals that, yeah, she's been busy singing her butt off.
In an effort, perhaps, to take her music to a wider audience, Palmer most recently recorded a version of Aretha Franklin's "Respect" for ABC -- specifically for a new promo for "The Bachelorette." In it, Clare Crawley strolls around a rose petal-covered stage in a floor-length, white gown while clips and voiceovers from her past "Bachelor" experience flash by, doubling down on the fact that respect has always been her goal in love. It's...pretty awesome.
And you can't deny that Palmer's vocals sound electric.
Of course, Palmer has a history with ABC, having worked alongside Michael Strahan and Sara Haines on the third hour of "Good Morning America." Once COVID-19 took over and studio audiences were suspended, the segment was replaced --- and seems to be staying that way. Palmer's been open about looking forward to a new chapter in her career, so...music?
It's certainly in her wheelhouse. Respect, Keke.