Kimberly Michelle Pate (born March 4, 1982), better known by her stage name K. Michelle, is an American recording artist, pianist, and songwriter. She first received notice in 2009 with the charting single “Fakin’ It” (featuring Missy Elliott), and later went on to release the follow-up singles: “Fallin'” and “I Just Can’t Do This”. In the summer of 2012, K. Michelle garnered further attention by appearing in the VH1 reality series Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta. Following her appearance on the show, she landed a contract deal with Warner Bros. Records. She released her long-delayed debut album Rebellious Soul on August 13, 2013. The album saw commercial success, debuting at number 2 on the Billboard 200 and selling 75,000 copies its first week.
2008–2011: Career beginnings
K. Michelle’s career began when she signed to Jive Records in December 2008. She released the buzz singles “Self Made” and “Fakin’ It” in 2009 in hopes of garnering attention from the public eye. While “Self Made” peaked at #89 on Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and received hardly any attention, Michelle’s Missy Elliott–assisted “Fakin’ It” went on to attain slight attention from the urban audience for its racy content and male-bashing lyrics. In 2010, following the buzz singles’ release, Michelle went on to release two follow-up singles: “I Just Can’t Do This” and “How Many Times”; both of which respectively charted at #53 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs before asking to be brought out of her label contract by RCA Records in October 2011. Prior to her departure from RCA, K. Michelle was in the process of recording her debut Rebellious Soul (formerly titled Pain Medicine) that was slated to feature collaborations from the likes of R. Kelly, Trina, Usher, Gucci Mane,Akon and Missy Elliott. However, only R. Kelly’s contributions saw the light of day on the final cut of the album.
2012–present: Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta and Rebellious Soul
In 2012, K. Michelle joined the cast on season one of VH1’s reality TV show Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta. During its run, Michelle announced she would be leaving the show after the second season to move to New Yorkto join Love & Hip-Hop NY and focus more on her music career. Following her appearance on the reality series, Michelle signed a deal with Warner Bros. Records and has since then confirmed that her debut album would likely be released sometime in 2013. K. Michelle later revealed on Twitter that her debut album has since then been revised from Pain Medicine to its current working title, .Rebellious Soul On April 22, 2013, Michelle released a promotional single and accompanying music video called “I Just Wanna” via iTunes and YouTube.
In May 2013, she released the lead single from Rebellious Soul called “V.S.O.P.”. The album was released on August 13, 2013.