Keith Sweat, real name Keith Douglas Crier, (born July 22, 1961 in Harlem, New York City) is an American R&B/soul, singer-songwriter, record producer, radio personality and a major contributor to the New jack swing era. Before becoming a recording artist, Sweat worked for the commodities market in the New York Mercantile Exchange. He sang at nightclubs throughout New York City until he was discovered and offered a recording contract with Elektra Records in 1987.
Sweat started his musical career as a member of a Harlem band called "Jamilah" in 1975. With the help of Jamilah, Sweat was able to hone his craft as a lead singer by performing regionally throughout the tri-State area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. The group was started by bassist Larry Peoples, guitarist Michael Samuels, and drummer Walter Bradley. Additional members of the group included Peter DaCosta (vocals), Joseph McGeachy (sax), Dwight Banks (trumpet), and Kenneth Varner (keyboards). On November 25, 1987, Sweat released his debut solo album Make It Last Forever, which sold three million copies. The biggest hit from this album was "I Want Her" (#1 R&B/#5 Pop), while the title track from the album hit #2 on the R&B charts.
Sweat reached the charts again with his second album I'll Give All My Love to You (1990) which hit #6 on the Billboard 200 chart, and Keep It Comin'(1991) which debuted in the top 20 of the album chart. The latter album did not sell as well because Keith did not promote it. The singles released during this period included "(There You Go) Tellin' Me No Again" (from the film New Jack City), "Why Me Baby" (featuring LL Cool J) and "Keep It Comin'". Sweat then moved from New York to Atlanta, where he founded the Keia Records label that would feature Silk & Kut Klose. Sweat released his fourth album Get Up on It in the summer of 1994, and his self-titled fifth album in 1996. Both albums reached the top ten on the Billboard 200. The single "Twisted" hit #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and "Nobody" hit #3, which made them Sweat's biggest hits to date. The song "Just A Touch", with Kut Klose providing background vocals, has earned a regular spot on radio playlists. "Just A Touch" was a cover of the 1979 song "Just a Touch of Love" by Slave. Sweat's sixth album, Still in the Game was released in 1998, hitting #6 on the Billboard 200, and #2 on the R&B/Hip Hop albums chart. It featured the singles "Come and Get With Me" (which featured Snoop Dogg) (#12 Hot 100) and "I'm Not Ready" (#16 Hot 100).
Sweat's success on the charts seemed to diminish in 2000, when he released the album Didn't See Me Coming. None of the singles from the album reached the top forty. They were moderate hits on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart. On August 13, 2002, Keith Sweat released his ninth album, Rebirth. The single "One on One" reached #75 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #44 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart. His 2008 album Just Me fared better with its first single, "Love U Better (featuring Keyshia Cole)" being played on Urban radio stations for about a year before the albums' release.