Keith Sweat and New Jack Swing
Keith Sweat was born in Harlem, New York to Charles and Juanita Sweat not far from the world-famous Apollo Theater. Unfortunately, at the age of 12, Keith lost his father, a factory worker. He attended City College of New York and received a degree in communications. While in college he worked at Macy’s as a clerk. Before beginning his career as an artist he worked in the New York Stock Exchange in the commodities market.
In 1975 Sweat was a member of the band Jamilah in Harlem. With this band he traveled and performed throughout New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. In 1984 he branched out on his own and frequently performed in New York City nightclubs. He recorded one single “My Mind Is Made Up” with Stadium records an independent label that had only released two albums prior to Sweats. He co-wrote and co-produced “You Are The One For Me” by the group GQ for Stadium records. During that time he also wrote and produced the song “All I Want is My Baby” for singer Roberta Gilliam in 1985.
Make It Last Forever
In November 1987 Keith Sweat released his debut album Make It Last Forever and set his path towards fame and success. He enjoyed many successes as a result of this album, skyrocketing towards the top of both R&B and pop charts and selling over three million copies. Four of the songs on this album landed on the pop or R&B charts and in some cases both. The hit “I Want Her” skyrocketed to number one on the R&B charts while hitting number five on the pop charts. The songs “Make It Last Forever” reached number two and “Something Just Ain’t Right” reached number three both on the R&B charts. As a result of his success with this album, Sweat moved away from his job as a brokerage assistant on Wall Street.