Tweet Biography

Charlene Keys, 21 January 1972, Rochester, New York, USA. The youngest of five children, Keys was prompted to follow a musical career ever since she sang at church in Rochester, New York, where she also coined her nickname. While as a budding apprentice, she met Missy ‘Misdemeanor’ Elliott, and the duo’s firm friendship proved crucial to her career. During the mid-90s she endured a disastrous spell in the girl group Sugar, before returning to her parents in Panama City, Florida. She resolved to give up the music business, but luckily Elliott rang with a request for Tweet’s backing vocals on her Miss E … So Addictive album. It proved a resurgent point in Tweet’s life and career and also spawned some deeply heartfelt songs. One of these, ‘Motel’, came to Elliott’s attention and resulted in a recording contract with Elektra Records.

Tweet’s 2002 debut Southern Hummingbird featured typically slick and inventive production work from Elliott and Timbaland, but the singer’s soulful contribution as composer, lyricist, vocalist and guitarist helped distinguish her from other urban female artists. The highly catchy and slightly risqué ‘masturbation’ single ‘Oops (Oh My)’, took her to the upper reaches of the US pop charts. Elliott’s presence was stamped all over the follow-up album, It’s Me Again, belatedly released at the start of 2005. The album, which reworked the formula of the debut to lesser effect, featured Tweet duetting with her teenage daughter Tashana on the track ‘Two Of Us’.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.