By// S. Tia Brown
Keyshia Cole isn’t anyone’s pushover. She pulls no punches, and is painfully straight to the point. Very guarded, she keeps it real— always. We’ve seen it in interviews where, despite several years in an image- driven industry, the platinum-selling R&B star wears her day on her sleeve. There is no filter. No Hollywood. And, even worse, there are few smiles.
Still, to many, the round-the-way diva remains most cherished, and truly beloved. Why? She is the daughter, sister, auntie or girl across someone’s street, who made it out of the most dire straits— and we’re not talking simply financial poverty. Cole, who spent much of her childhood in a loving adop- tive home, is the poster child for the travesty that changed the course of numerous Black families in the ’80s: the drug epidemic. So our occassionally surly sister gets a pass. She is more than a survivor. She is a dreamer. She is a warrior. And for the last decade we’ve listened and watched her engage in a battle royale for her heart.
“Keyshia’s been through a lot with her mother and her family; so her whole makeup is built around being a strong woman,” says Daniel Gibson, Cole’s husband of a little over a year. “I’m just trying to show her that I can be there for her. You can let your guard down.”
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