Kimberley Locke

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Kimberley Locke

Kimberley Locke.jpg
Personal
Born: January 3, 1978 (1978-01-03) (age 36)
Hartsville, Tennessee
Years active: 2003–present
Ethnicity: Black
Nationality: American
Body
Boobs: Natural
Body type: Chubby
Eye color: Brown
Hair: Brown
Underarm hair: Shaved

Kimberley Dawn Locke (born January 3, 1978 in Hartsville, Tennessee) is an American adult contemporary pop/R&B singer and plus-size fashion model. In recent years, Locke has had 11 charting singles, including 8 Billboard # 1s.

She gained fame with her participation in the 2003 American Idol television series, and in 2007 garnered media attention for her participation in Celebrity Fit Club.

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Locke was born to Donald and Christine Locke, respectively a truck driver and a clothing warehouse worker for the Gap/Old Navy distribution center in Gallatin, Tennessee. She is the second of two children, with an older brother named Ashley. She and her brother spent most of their life in Gallatin. At age five, Locke began singing in church. Her parents divorced when she was eight years old. She has said in recent interviews that after hearing the hit Clay Walker song, "Then What?", she knew a career in country music was her calling.

Locke grew up admiring such singers as Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, Patti LaBelle and Diana Ross. In 1987, she and childhood friends Chandra Boone, Selina Robb, and NaCole Rice formed a quartet named Shadz of U, which performed at many local churches. The group later appeared on Locke's 2007 Based On A True Story album, singing backup on Everyday Angels.

Locke went to Gallatin High School, where she was one of sixteen members to participate in its performing group. She remained in the group throughout her high-school years. She was also selected twice as a member of the All-Middle State Chorus. After graduating, she began to work for a company in Nashville as an administrative assistant.

Like 2007 American Idol finalist Melinda Doolittle, Locke is an alumna of Belmont University in Nashville.

American Idol and singing career[edit]

On October 30, 2002, the reality-TV singing competition American Idol held auditions in Nashville, Tennessee for the show's second season. Locke successfully passed through to the next round, and in December was chosen to perform on the show. She finished third, behind runner up Clay Aiken and eventual champion Ruben Studdard. Simon Cowell at first criticized Locke as lacking in personality; by the final three however, he declared her, Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard to be as worthy winners as any. She has since been invited back to the show to perform twice (seasons 3 and 7).

Locke went on to sign a record deal with Curb Records on September 6, 2003. Her debut album, One Love, was released May 4, 2004. Debut single "8th World Wonder" reached the top half of the Billboard Hot 100 and was successful on other charts, and even entered the UK chart with little promotion. "Wrong" and "I Could" followed as singles and were hits on the Pop and Adult Contemporary charts respectively. "Coulda Been" was the album's only single not to chart.

Locke released her version of "Up On The Housetop" in Fall 2005 and by the end of year it had reached the top spot of the Adult Contemporary (AC) charts and broke many records, due to its quick rise to the top. The following year, Kimberley's version of "Jingle Bells" was released and topped the same charts. A full Christmas album entitled Christmas — only available digitally — was released on November 6, 2007.

Locke's second album, Based On A True Story, was released on May 1, 2007. The album's original lead single, "Supawoman," co-written with her producers Damon Sharpe and Mark J. Feist, was released to radio on August 7, 2006, however after underwhelming radio support, Curb Records decided to refocus. "Change," was released to radio on January 15, 2007 to positive support and climbed the charts well into the summer of 2007. The album's next single was a cover of Freda Payne's "Band of Gold," which was released to radio on August 13, 2007 and became Locke's 6th solo AC Top 10 hit. The album's third single,"Fall," co-written by Clay Mills was also recorded by country music artist Clay Walker, was released to radio in February 2008.

Television career[edit]

Whilst pursuing her music career, Locke was also interested in becoming a television star. Since 2005, Locke has featured on many television shows.

In August 2004, Locke was invited to be a guest host on Good Day Live, and was invited back to co-host twice more. In 2005, she was a contestant on the game show, Family Feud, and she hosted Word Slam!, a GSN live game show; an accompanying documentary with Locke aired on that cable channel that September. Throughout the summer of 2005, a proposed reality TV series, Aren't You That Girl?, taped Locke's progress on her second album and preparations for her upcoming wedding. The engagement was later called off and the project was cancelled.[1] During MTV's early fall 2006 lineup, Locke was a judge and co-host on the short lived reality-show competition "The Little Talent Show".

Locke sat in as a guest co-host of The View in March 2007. In April 2008, she also appeared on "Don't Forget the Lyrics!" with her winnings to benefit Camp Heartland. She was the first contestant in the history of the show to attempt the million dollar song. Although unsuccessful, she was awarded $100,000 for ranking so well. Locke vowed she would raise the $400,000 she lost when she unsuccessfully attempted to win the million dollars.

Though featured on several reality TV shows over the years, Kimberley made her acting debut on an episode of Rick & Steve: The Happiest Gay Couple in All the World which aired January 6, 2009. [2]

Celebrity Fit Club: Men vs. Women[edit]

In November 2006, VH1 issued a press release confirming that Locke would be a participant on the fifth season of Celebrity Fit Club, which had just begun filming and would continue through March 2007. The show began airing on April 22, 2007.[3] She has been the focused target of derision from fellow cast member Dustin Diamond, who has repeatedly called her "a loser on another show [American Idol]." Later, he says, "She is a nobody...If there were eight of her here, nobody would watch the show." She responded on-camera at a weigh-in ceremony, "Two-faced, backstabbing people who will smile in your face one day and eat you up the next. That's why I don't have anything to do with you...If you even fucking look at me, Dustin. [Because] you talk about losers? Let's talk about 'I'm a fucking child star. Now I've got a porn tape on TV and selling T-shirts to pay for my house note.'" He later walked off the stage. He later offered her a sex toy in the shape of his penis, saying that she "needed one." The ensuing argument caused all other contestants to leave the stage. [4] On June 17, 2007, the season finale of Celebrity Fit Club aired, drawing in 2.7 million viewers, the show's highest yet.

A year after filming wrapped up, Kimberley was photographed at a party with 'Fit Club' trainer Harvey Walden IV and rumors immediately began circulating. In an interview with People Magazine, she stated that she was not in a relationship with Harvey, who had been separated from his wife, as he was in the midst of a divorce and wanted it resolved before getting involved. [5] Once Harvey's divorce was finalized, the two officially became a couple. In a December 2008 interview, Kimberley was asked about possible wedding plans between the two of them. Though no plans are being made, she did say "we're talking about it". [6]

Modeling career & weight loss[edit]

From 2005 through September 2006, Locke was signed with Ford Models' 14+ Division. She has appeared on the covers of the July 2005 issue of Figure magazine and the summer 2007 issue of UneQ magazine. She has also been a former spokesperson for Lane Bryant and Seven7 Jeans.

While filming for Celebrity Fit Club, Kimberley chose to follow the Jenny Craig diet plan and had great success. In December 2006, Locke was offered a deal as spokeswoman with Jenny Craig.[7] At the completion of filming for the show, Kimberley weighed in at a final weight of 149 lbs; down a total of 27 lbs. from her original start weight of 176 lbs. A feature in the September 10th issue of People Magazine shows Kimberley at 141 lbs., only 3 pounds away from her goal. Locke announced through her official MySpace blog on October 8, 2007 that she had finally achieved her 40 pound weight loss goal.

In January 2008, Kimberley was featured as the centerfold of Us Weekly's "Diets That Work" issue. The feature counted down the top five celebrity diets of 2007, with Kimberley being named the winner.[8] Ellen DeGeneres was so personally blown away by the feature that she asked Kimberley to be a special guest on an upcoming episode of her popular daytime talk show. The episode taped on January 10, 2008 and aired the following day.

Business career[edit]

In 1999, Locke enrolled at Belmont University and graduated in August 2001 with a Bachelor's degree of Business Administration in Marketing. In December 2006, Locke, with partners Eric Kupferberg, Liam Harvey and Jim Stake, opened the Croton Creek Steakhouse & Wine Bar, located in Croton Falls, New York.

Charitable Work[edit]

Locke has been active in many charities, particularly in raising awareness of HIV/AIDS and Breast cancer. Locke's first exposure to working with children living with HIV/AIDS was through her work with the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, which sent her on an 11 day trip through Africa. She then went on to work with other organizations such as YouthAIDS, the Davy Foundation and Camp Heartland In recognition of her extensive charitable efforts as an HIV/AIDS activist, Locke was presented with the Red Ribbon award on November 9, 2007. "The Red Ribbon Award is done for someone in the community that advocates AIDS awareness, and especially HIV awareness," said press liaison Chris Prouty. "They want to pinpoint one specific person and get the community involved in the accolades and a congratulatory celebration." At a news conference prior to her performance that night, Locke gave an acceptance speech. "All the kids [at Camp Heartland] have a great story, and that's what I've chosen to be a part of. It's the old cliché: kids are our future."[9] She appeared on a Celebrity episode of Don't Forget The Lyrics to raise money for Camp Heartland and vowed to raise another $400,000 for the charity by the end of 2008.

In October 2007, Locke teamed up with General Mills to introduce the 'Pink For A Cure' campaign to promote awareness of breast cancer in the African American community. "My aunt is a breast cancer survivor. So, as someone whose family has been directly touched by this disease, I'm very passionate about getting people talking more about their health," said Locke.[10]

References[edit]

  1. Stiletto Entertainment "Kimberley Locke Models For Lane Bryant", June 29, 2005.
  2. "Preview New Rick & Steve Episode: House of Race Cards", www.happiestgaycouple.com
  3. Edwards, Martha "Celebrity Fit Club 5 Cast Announced", "That's Fit", November 20, 2006.
  4. Ho, Rodney "Kelly, charts, Fit Club", The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Idol Blog, May 9, 2007.
  5. Triggs, Charlotte "Celebrity Fit Club Love: Kimberley Locke Dating Her Trainer", People Magazine, January 10, 2008
  6. Heldenfels, Rich "American Idol Finalists On Christmas Tour", The Akron Beacon Journal, December 17, 2008
  7. Extra "Kimberley Locke's New Years Resolution" December 22, 2006
  8. O'Neill, Jennifer "The Us Diet Winners!", Us Weekly, January 14, 2008 p.54
  9. Larson, Kris. "Locke 'Sparkles' at Benefit", Bay Area Reporter, November 15, 2007.
  10. Popdirt.com "Kimberley Locke Joins the Pink Together Cause", October 4, 2007.



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