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KEM

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Information about KEM

Profile image of KEM

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
R & B Singer
Songwriter

Favorites

Favorite Color:
None
Favorite Food:
Soul Food
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Any Place Near The Ocean
Favorite Quote:
It's All Good.

Birthplace

Born:
7/23/1967
Birth Location:
Nashville, Tennessee

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
R & B Singer
Songwriter

Favorites

Favorite Color:
None
Favorite Food:
Soul Food
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Any Place Near The Ocean
Favorite Quote:
It's All Good.

Birthplace

Born:
7/23/1967
Birth Location:
Nashville
See how KEM is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

R & B singer and songwriter Kim Lamont Owens (KEM) was born in Nashville, Tennessee. When he was young, his family moved from Nashville to the Detroit suburb of Southfield, Michigan. Owens began to explore the keyboard when he was four, and became fascinated by music in high school in the 1980s. However, upon graduation, he dealt with homelessness, addiction, and isolation from his family. Owens recovered in 1990 and took a job as a waiter at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Dearborn, Michigan. He also booked weddings and other shows that allowed him to perform original music.

In February of 2001, Owens self-released his first album, Kemistry, which sold nearly 15,000 copies and piqued the interest of Motown Records. Motown signed Owens to a five-record deal in November of 2001 and re-released Kemistry in 2003. The album reached the Top 20 of the Top Hip-Hop/R&B Albums chart, its first single, "Love Calls," became a hit, and the record went gold. Owens’ second CD, Album II, was released in 2005 and sold over 500,000 copies in the United States. The album included the hit single "I Can't Stop Loving You," a #1 at urban adult contemporary radio. In 2010, he released his third album, Intimacy, which debuted at #2 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart. The record’s first single, “Why Would You Stay,” spent several weeks at #1 on the Urban AC Radio charts. Owens went on to produce a Christmas album entitled What Christmas Means in 2012, and then a follow-up deluxe edition of the CD in October of 2013.

In 2012, Owens established Mack & Third, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting the homeless by gathering food and raising funds for Detroit’s shelters and food banks. He also presents the annual ‘Mack & Third’ event, an all-day free concert to benefit and recognize the city’s homeless citizens.

Owens won the Billboard Music Award for Top Adult R&B Single of the Year in 2005, and was nominated for two NAACP Image Awards in 2006. He was also nominated in 2010 for a Soul Train Award for Best Male R&B/Soul Artist; two Grammy Awards for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song; and the BET Centric Award. Owens was nominated four more times at the 44th NAACP Image Awards in 2013.

Kem was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 23, 2014.

See how KEM is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of KEM's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - KEM lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - KEM describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - KEM talks about his maternal grandparents and his mother's upbringing
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - KEM describes his biological father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - KEM recalls his relationship with stepfather
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - KEM describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - KEM lists his siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - KEM describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - KEM describes the sounds of his childhood in Michigan
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - KEM recalls his neighborhood in Pontiac, Michigan
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - KEM talks about his early education
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - KEM describes his childhood personality and activities
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - KEM remembers the popular culture of the 1970s
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - KEM talks about his early interest in music
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - KEM describes his early academic experiences
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - KEM remembers his music teacher at the Michigan Institute for Child Development in Detroit, Michigan
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - KEM describes the musical legacy of Michael Jackson
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - KEM recalls learning about Motown Records
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - KEM describes his friendship with music producer Brian O'Neal
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - KEM talks about the musicians from the Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - KEM recalls leaving Southfield High School in Southfield, Michigan
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - KEM talks about the start of his struggle with addiction
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - KEM remembers his experiences of homelessness and addiction
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - KEM describes his breakthrough in overcoming his addictions
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - KEM talks about how his spirituality contributed to his sobriety
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - KEM remembers working as a waiter while pursuing his music career
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - KEM describes his early jobs in the music industry
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - KEM remembers Brian O'Neal's relocation to Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - KEM talks about his band members
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - KEM recalls independently recording and marketing his first album
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - KEM remembers signing a recording contract with Motown Records
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - KEM explains the alternate spelling of his stage name
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - KEM talks about his musical influences and philosophy
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - KEM describes his hit song, 'Love Calls'
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - KEM talks about the subject matter of his music
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - KEM talks about his song, 'Brotha Man'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - KEM talks about the time gaps between his album releases
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - KEM describes his second album, 'Album II,' and creative process
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - KEM talks about his third studio album, 'Intimacy'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - KEM reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - KEM describes his hopes for the African American community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - KEM reflects upon his professional legacy and family
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - KEM describes how he would like to be remembered