It's gotta be tough being Keri Hilson. She's drop-dead gorgeous, wildly successful (her second solo LP, No Boys Allowed, just dropped) bracingly to the point, and has got to hurt.
I recently caught up with the R&B siren, 28, to discuss her frequent collaborator Kanye West -- and other men who may be in her life soon!
UsMagazine.com: Your pal Kanye West had quite a year last year! Thoughts?
Keri Hilson: I do love and respect his honesty as an artist. I think that if you heard a lot more artists talk candidly, he wouldn't be as big a deal as he is. A lot of artists are media trained and a lot of them say what they’re supposed to say, not what they really want to say or how they think or feel at that moment in time. He may choose an inappropriate time or place to say it, and I don’t condone anything he says, but the honesty factor is appreciated. I think that we should be allowed to say the same things we might say behind doors while on camera. He's got some balls!
US: What would surprise people most about him?
KH: He's one of the nicest artists that I ever worked with. On the "Knock You Down" video shoot, he was so easy. He was on time -- and people would think that he would have a huge entourage and be late and rude to everyone, but he was so easy to work with. He acknowledges everyone in the room, he's very considerate, and he's never rude.
Us: So you look hot as always. What is your diet tip?
KH: We don't like diets, do we? We're women. I have to say that I grew up an athlete, and a lot of me is still that shape with some thickness of a woman growing on me. I do work out -- you have to when you do an hour show. I run Runyon Canyon in L.A. On weeks when I'm not crazy busy, I do it three or four times a week. I love it because it's outdoors, and most workouts are in a closed stuffy gym. On the Canyon you can be by yourself for minutes without passing anyone. I don't love the dust. I have allergies. But I take my allergy pills and just go because I love it that much!
US: So are you seeing anyone special now?
KH: I'm definitely dating. I'm a woman! So it wouldn't be uncommon seeing me eating dinner or catching a movie with someone. I love romance and love.
US: So what's a perfect date for you?
KH: I'm simple and easy. I like the smaller things,like the movies. I love going to the movies but it's not a great first date. I like dinner, and it doesn't have to be a formal expensive place -- you can take me to Waffle House! I just like to be anywhere we can talk. It's more about connecting. With a little banter you can tell if you kind of click in a light-heated situation more than just a serious dinner.
US: And what do you look for in a guy?
KH: I look for a guy who has his priorities in check -- thats very important! He has to put his family first and respects and loves his mother. A guy who is taller than me preferably and one who would go to church or at least pray and have some sort of deeper self. I want kids one day. There are five kids in my family, and I want what I had growing up. I want at least three kids. But five? I don't want to drive myself crazy like my mom probably did. I think three is a good number.
US: And do you have any romantic deal breakers?
KH: There are lots of deal breakers, but it depends on what stage the relationship is in. The ultimate, breaking point deal breaker for me is if we're in a committed relationship and you not only cheat on me, but you had unprotected sex and had a baby out of this relationship on the side. This has actually happened to more than two people I know. I wrote a song called "Breaking Point," and it was about a lot of women's experiences being lied to and tolerating too much. My album is called No Boys Allowed, and I was very cognizant of all the things that we put up with.