Keith Sweat (born Keith Crier on July 22, 1961 in Harlem, New York), is a popular R&B/soul singer, songwriter, record producer 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.
Make It Last Forever era: 1985-1993
Sweat started his musical career as a member of a well known 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 Larry Peebles, a talented bass player from 116th Street and Lenox Avenue, and included several members who came in and out of the group; among those included was Gregory Ross, a well known Harlem keyboard player who currently lives and works in the Los Angeles area.
On November 25, 1987, Sweat released his debut 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), and the title track from the album was hit #2 on the R&B charts.
Sweat continued to chart fairly well with his sophomore album I’ll Give All My Love To You, which hit #6 on the Billboard 200 chart, and Keep It Comin debuted in the Top 20 of the album chart.