R&B artist, KEM, will perform at the Old National Centre in downtown Indianapolis on Thursday, February 14, 2013. With several million album sales to his name, life has been good for this singer/songwriter/producer in recent years. But it wasn’t always that way.
Born in Nashville, Tennessee and raised in Detroit, Michigan, KEM’s life took a turn for the worse after high school as he battled repeated bouts of drug addiction and homelessness. It was during these dark times that he was able to find solace by playing the shelter’s piano at night. After being thrown out of one shelter for breaking the rules, he set out on a new spiritual course that would profoundly change his life.
He started performing his original music at weddings and other gigs in town while at the same time earning money as a waiter. He used what little money he earned to finance the production of his first album, KEMISTRY, which got the interest of Universal Motown after selling nearly 15,000 copies. The label signed him to a 5-album deal in November, 2001. KEMISTRY was re-released and went on to sell more than 500,000 copies nationwide.
He says, “My career didn’t take off until I connected with my spirituality. That’s why I take time on stage and on the album to administer spirituality to people. That’s one of the things that I am most proud of.”
He founded a Michigan domestic non-profit corporation called Mack & Third, Inc., in 2012 for the purpose of assisting organizations that support the homeless community, including the shelters and organizations that supported and guided him through his own homelessness and addiction. His annual ‘Mack & Third’ event is a free, all-day concert designed to recognize and benefit homeless persons in Detroit.
Following the release of KEMISTRY, he wrote his second album, appropriately named Album II, whhic sold more than a half-million copies nationwide. His hit, R&B song “I Can’t Stop Loving You” won the Billboard Music Award win for Top Adult R&B Single of the Year in 2005. He won Best R&B Male Performance at the 53rd Grammy Awards in 2011, and his song “Why Would You Stay” was nominated for Best R&B Song.
- Kem Live at the Old National Centre, 502 North New Jersey Street, Indianapolis
- Thursday, February 14, 2013, 7:30 PM.
- Tel. 317-231-0000