Back in 2012, singer Keyshia Cole surprised a lot of people when she revealed that she was biracial.
At the time that this was shared, she was being asked what it meant to be a Black girl who rocks ahead of the annual Black Girls Rock! show, and she said, “I’m Bi-racial but it’s okay…I’m Black, I’m Black…”
When it came to light what Cole said on social media, she received a lot of backlash. She tried to brush it off.
BlackGirlsRock first off I feel ALLGIRLSROCK!! And by the way, I don’t not know what I’m mixed with, nor have I tried to find out,” she said on Twitter. “I was raised in Oakland. My mother is a black woman HOWEVER I do not know my father. Nor really car [sic] to know!”
Still, that statement was hard for Cole to shake, and it was attached to the very sad reality that her paternity has been a question for a really long time. She chose to address the “I’m biracial” comment for the first time in years to clear the air on her new talk show, One on One with Keyshia Cole. She couldn’t do so without her mom Frankie Lons being present, because the star said it was Lons who told her she was mixed based on who she felt her real father was:
Keyshia Cole: I have a really serious question because the only problem is right, she told me that I was mixed. You told me that right?
Frankie Lons: No, I said you were ‘other,’ and you are other.
Keyshia Cole: Okay, what’s ‘other’? Explain to the public because my fans are really upset. They think that when I repeated that, that I’m saying that I’m not Black, which is not the truth.
Frankie Lons: Black is a color first of all so don’t listen to that.
Keyshia Cole: Well can you explain so they can get off my back about it?
Frankie Lons: ‘Other’ means…your mother is one color and your daddy is another.
Keyshia Cole: I just want the general public of the people that has been my fans over the years to understand that this is not something that I got from myself and my own mind. This is something that was told to me and I wanted to express that.
This conversation happened on the December 11 episode of her show. During the segment, Lons stuck by the “other” story because she says that Cole’s father is an “Italian, Caucasian” man. Cole has never seen a picture of him and he has been dead for years.
Lons said that it was possible that they could get a photo of the man because he owned a restaurant called Pal Joeys in San Jose. Cole, however, refuted that, reminding her mom that she told her a completely different story when she was young that led her on a search that eventually hit a brick wall.
“Guys, as a young girl, I looked up Pal Joeys, I called 411, y’all remember that? I called 411 a bunch of times,” she said. “First she told me it was in Los Angeles, guys. I called Los Angeles and it was not one there.”
Lons said the man “was a guy that I used to date when I was a lady of leisure. I became attached because he tried, went to his grave trying to get me to stop doing prostitution.”
She met the man, much older than her, and he would take her to his bar and talk to her to keep her off of the streets, bu they were intimate.
“He said, ‘You don’t need to be out here. What are you doing?’ And then he used to come and get me,” she said. “‘He said how much does your pimp want?’ And he would give me the money to take to him and he would keep me all night and talk to me. He cared. He really did.”
Lons was told later by prostitutes she used to know that the man died of cirrhosis of the liver, so if that was indeed Cole’s father, that doesn’t provide much closure for the singer, especially since she says there is someone else out here also claiming that he’s her father presently.
You’re probably wondering though, didn’t Cole come out a few years ago and say she found her father? That did indeed happen.
Back in 2016, she said a man named Virgil Hunter, a former boxer, was confirmed to be her dad. However, all these years later, that excited Instagram announcement has been deleted and it seems that Cole is back on the search for her biological father. To find him, she’s going to need some straightforward answers from her mother. However, if you watched Keyshia Cole: The Way It Is, or even just this short segment from her new talk show, you will see that’s never been and likely never will be easy.