Kehlani | Childhood, Career, & Personal Life

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Kehlani

American singer, songwriter, and dancer Kehlani Ashley Parrish rose to popularity thanks to her band PopLyfe and the reality TV competition America’s Got Talent. Kehlani is now a Grammy nominee, a social media influencer, and a fan favorite of the contemporary pop scene.

Early Life

Kehlani Ashley Parrish was born in Oakland, California in 1995 – the daughter of a Spanish and Native American mother and an African American father. Both her parents suffered from drug addiction, with her father losing the battle when Kehlani was a toddler.



After her mother was imprisoned, Kehlani was adopted by her aunt. She attended the Oakland School of Arts as a teenager and aspired to become a dancer. It was an unfortunate knee injury that steered her away from dance and towards a career in music.

Career

Kehlani started singing as a lead vocalist of the group PopLyfe in 2009. Two years after, PopLyfe participated in the sixth season of the TV reality competition show America’s Got Talent, where they earned the fourth place. Judges urged Kahlani to leave PopLyfe and go solo.

The singer did exactly that but stayed under the radar for the next six months in fear that the group’s manager might sue her for the breach of contract. This was a difficult time for Kehlani. She was homeless for the bigger part of 2012 and 2013, and her career was at a halt.

Finally, Kehlani released her first solo single ANTISUMMERLUV on SoundCloud, earning immediate recognition and an LA apartment with studio time from Nick Cannon, host of America’s Got Talent. Mixtape Cloud 19 followed suit, along with another viral hit, Till the Morning.

Kehlani’s second mixtape You Should Be Here was a commercial and critical success. With recognition from Rolling Stone magazine, Complex, and even the Grammy Awards, the young singer was ready to set the pop scene on fire. She did so in 2017 with her debut album SweetSexySavage.

In the News

Despite her career hitting off, Kehlani never entirely left her traumatic childhood behind. She kept struggling with her public image throughout her twenties, and especially so after she became famous. In this sense, one social media incident was particularly alarming.

While Kahlani was dating NBA basketball player Kyrie Irving in 2016, musician PartyNextDoor posted a picture of her hand on social media, insinuating that something was happening between them. The public backlash was so bad that it eventually led Kehlani to attempt suicide.

The singer now has a beautiful girl with her guitarist Javaughn Young-White.

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