Keyshia Cole Covers Essence Magazine

Singer Keyshia Cole has managed to do something I said she would never do- snag the cover of Essence Magazine. Yep, our sista’s stock is definitely rising as Keyshia will be featured on the cover of the October edition which is on news stands now. Keyshia is interviewed about the usual fodder, men and of course the constant comparisons to Mary J. Blige. Will the interview be interesting or tell us anything we don’t already know? Probably not- but because Keyshia is on the cover I’ll be picking it up anyway and I suggest you all do the same. Partial excerpts from the interview can be read on the next page and hopefully within the next few days BJ Skanz will have the high quality photos from inside the magazine.

From her childhood as the daughter of a drug-addicted prostitute to her rise to platinum-status fame, Keyshia Cole’s life story is filled with heartbreak and determination. On the eve of her sophomore album, Just Like You, the 26-year-old songstress sat down with ESSENCE senior writer Jeannine Amber to share her thoughts on life, love and being compared to Mary J. Blige.

ESSENCE: Were you always going to be a solo artist?

KEYSHIA COLE: Well, actually, I was gonna be in a group with these two girls. We were in Los Angeles and we were working with Damon Elliot, who is Dionne Warwick’s son, and he was like, “Keysh, if you wanna sign with the girl group, you can; but I’ll sign you solo.” And I was like, I’d rather be solo because I do everything in the group anyway. They’re just pretty. We were gonna get, like, a $30,000 advance and split it ten/ten/ten; but I figured, “Why should I give them my $20,000 when I can get it myself?” So I told them, “I’m sorry, but I can’t.” Then I recorded a couple songs with Damon and one of them was (the hit single) “Love.”

ESSENCE: Early in your career you went to Los Angeles and met legendary music producer Suge Knight and Tupac Shakur. What was that like?

COLE: My brother was close with Pac, he got records with Pac and everything. And Pac’s mother is really cool with my brother and me. So to me, Pac was just like a big brother. That time was like one of the biggest moments in history, and I saw everything. I was with them in Malibu and Vegas and I stayed in the “big house” by myself. I knew the world, the whole industry, everything. I was only fourteen.

ESSENCE: You recently got out of a serious relationship. How’s that been?

COLE: After my ex-boyfriend told me to go on and live my life, I saw him at a place with another girl. I was pissed! I tried to rip her head off. Then he was like, “Dude, you broke up with me.” But that’s just what it is.

ESSENCE: Your sister, Neffeteria, who plays a big part in your BET reality show, The Way It Is (premiering October 30), seems to have had a pretty difficult life. What advice do you give her?

COLE: I’ve told her, “You need to work on you.” After going through so much, you really gotta worry about yourself first. Everything else is secondary. Everything else. Husband, kids…well, not the kids, ’cause she takes care of those babies very well. But really, you gotta work on yourself first. If you don’t, you ain’t gonna be able to deal with people.

ESSENCE: How do you feel about constantly being compared to Mary J. Blige?

COLE: I feel like we are very similar based on everything we’ve been through in our personal lives. It’s helped make us sing the way we sing. Because she didn’t have a vocal coach, and neither did I. And when I met her I told her, “You winning all those Grammy’s—congratulations—it gives me inspiration to this day that maybe I can do the same thing.” You know, it’s just a real big life circle. I think there are a lot of things that she could tell me that’d help me. I’m not trying to take nobody’s place or nothing like that. But I’m just saying, as a woman—as a young Black woman—if she knows some of the answers, Give ’em to me!” (Laughing.) But she said that I could call her anytime. I just haven’t done it yet.

To read more on Keyshia’s dramatic past and promising future, pick up the October issue of ESSENCE (on newsstands now).


  1. Keyshia is a beautiful woman who plays down her looks. Her body and booty are pheonominal and breasts are perfect 😉

  2. That’s right keykey keep doin ya thing and lettin’ them hataz go

    oh yeah SERIOUSLY hook me up with MARY j. BLIGE phone # i am her ultimate fan (that’s if you are familiar with this website) and if u ever get a chance to talk to her i wanna know what ya’ll were talkin’ bout come on this website BROWNSISTA


  3. Keyshia Cole looks very beautiful in cover of Essence Magazine…..
    I love the song: Let It Go – Keyshia Cole ft. Missy Elliott & Lil’ Kim

    I love the first pic, its very GREAT!!!
    THanks for Sharing…

  4. I’m a fan..I do have to say I think she would look 100% better with a darker hair colour but she is still pretty.

  5. I think a lot of sistas are addicted to blond hair because of the attention it garners from Black men. I was a blond back in my 20’s so I can testify to the affect it has on our men. It is eye catching, even more so on a sista if you ask men, and that is why so many of us refuse to step away from the peroxide- even when we should.

  6. ^^^^^That’s interesting. I hear a lot of negative comments from Black men in regards to Black women sporting blonde hair, especially if it doesn’t match their skin tone. To each his own…

  7. The dark hair is really coming back. I think blond is getting played out plus wearing blond makes you look older and washed out. Wearing dark-brown or black hair makes you look sexy, mysterious, and more importantly younger. That’s why I see alot of these starlets rocking darker color. Bey, RiRi, Ciara, Roxy, Eva, and even Tyra went back to the lovely deep hue. Naturally there’s a few starlets still rocking blond. I remember when red was in style. But alot of women I know darken their hair to a beautiful shining black or deep-brown. Their boyfriends/husbands said they look sexy!

    Keyshia however looks pretty.

  8. @ Des

    When matched to your complexion it can and often does look good on many Black women. However, when sistas go over-blond it does look foolish and that is when brothas start complaining. I never had that problem though cause my Grandma was a beautician. I wasn’t attempting to go blond in my bathroom with a bottle of Clairol… lol.

  9. i think keyshia iz a very beautiful woman! i cant wait til i get da magazine 2morrow ok! i will b pickin up ha ablum as well go keyshia i love you!!

  10. Kesh looks Pretty. The Blonde hair actually looks good on hair. Although I prefer Dark brown or Black hair color, she’s rocking it well. Another thing I like about her is that she is never really cacked up with alot of makeup. She is talented.

  11. I am so happy to see Keyshia on the cover. She is as beautiful and gifted as Beyonce or Jennifer Hudson and deserves the recognition. She’s a lil ruff around the edges but so what. She is a successful sista and thus worth the cover. Glad Essence got off their high horse and decided to show her some love.

  12. I have to agree with Jason. Keyshia is lovely. I know she’s a little rough around the edges, which i’m sure is a result of her upbringing, but she does play down her looks. I always thought she had the prettiest skin. Not everyone can rock a huge arm tatoo, but it suits her. These pictures are some of the best i’ve seen of Keyshia. I am a subscriber of Essence, so i’ll be looking for this issue in the mail.

    I also have to say that blond hair is okay if it matches skin tone. For some reason, black women tend to think it’s for everyone and it just isn’t. Mary J. Blige can get away with just about every color. Eva (from america’s next top model) looks lovely with it, Keyshia looks nice as well….. but Remi Ma and the blonde bangs needs to try again. LOL!!

  13. Keyshia is one of the hottest women in music right now. Her body is top notch and those breasts are beyond amazing. She downplays her looks though because I don’t think she realizes how fine she really is. Like a lot of Black women she probably hasn’t been told she is beautiful. I’m sure she has had men try and sex her but I bet few ever told her how awesomely gorgeous she really is. Women like Mya and Beyonce have probably been told all their life they are fine so they confidently flaunt their sex appeal. I bet if Keyshia knew what a beauty she was she would be more confident also.

  14. my opinion is i dont see the comparison mary j is a don kesha cant sing to me her voice is hoare pitcy and annoying the national anthem was terrible i think shes overrated

  15. As soon as KC blow up and have commericial success, we’ll be hatin on her like Beyonce’. She is actually bi-racial. Mother is black and father is Italian. I love her though.

  16. I love Keyshia and she looks pretty in the pics. I don’t think we will be hating on Keyshia like some hate on Beyonce. I just don’t like Beyonce’s music and her style anymore. She’s fake and very selfish from what I’ve seen. Keyshia has more soul in her pinky than Bee has in her whole body. Keyshia sings from her heart that’s why she is compared to MJB, Mary will sing from her feet to let you know how she’s feeling. I don’t hear a soul putting MJB down, and you can’t she’s kept it real since 92′ that’s a long running, long lasting career. I wish Keyshia the same longevity!

  17. Oh and another thing, I’m glad Keyshia didn’tgo the same way Diana Ross did. Sing in a girl group, sign with them do alllllllllll the singing, stand in the middle then kick them to the curb and go solo. She kicked them to the curb from the gate lol she didn’t need them. Much respect!

  18. sorry pick up sista 2 sista. She’s bi-racial. I made that particular comment because people always look at a person and determine whether or not they are a real black woman. I’ve seen many comments stating that KC is a real black woman when technically she 50%. Black to many is an attitude not a color. I love her though but, just want to be fair.

  19. I agree that Keshia has a nice body. And her big boobs are REAL (yeah!). I hope she doesn’t change anything.

    Faith Evans is biracial also. Her mom is Black and her father is Italian. What ever happened to her?

  20. Ya know Brown Sista, it’s about time Black women start looking BLACK! Key-LoLo need to take that MESS off her head!!!! Other than that, I LOVE her!

  21. Blacksista, We don’t know if Keyshia Cole is mixed. They have to get a DNA test. Even though her father is dead, her manager will still check his blood sample. I got sister2sister too.

  22. Ya know Brown Sista, it’s about time Black women start looking BLACK! Key-LoLo need to take that MESS off her head!!!!


  23. I don’t got no beef with no one on hear

    but we don’t know if keyshia mixed.she can be high yellow not mixed just because somebody has light skin doesn mean they ant 100% black and real you know it’s how god made us that way but as myself i not yellow i a brown girl but I have a cousin that is high yellow and she not mixed she has 2 sisters and and they is brown. but anyways brown women make it seen they are evil or somthing and you know thay get hurt to just like darker women do tell you the truth and this is a ture story I used to know this gril she was just a brown gril with long hair nothing knew till one day I met her mom and I was shock to see her mom was whtie and her dad was black she can easily past as a black girl.
    so you see now yeah if you see a light skin gril you mike say she mixed and I know mixed poelpe are light but also if you see a brown girl you stay she black. but can also be mixed to. just want to be fair.

  24. When I first met keyshia cole 2 years ago and she’s very good singer but she was a little fiesty
    when I said good things to her well she’s o.k. so it’s not her fault! Maybe it the men who kept cheating on her! So Keyshia Cole, You need to focus on your goals to start your own record
    label and your singing carrier and reconcile with your family. I did! So can u. But I’m still gonna
    enjoy listening your songs!

  25. My idol iz so pretty!!!!!!!! Ya’ll dont need 2 b lookin’ @ her body…… I LUV ALL OF HER SONGS, AND EVERY SONG ON HER the way it is c.d.!!!!!!!!!! Keyshia COLE IZ MY IDOL, AND I LUV HER WIT ALL MY HEART!!11111 PEACE LUV ALWAYS AND 4EVA YA BIGGEST FAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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