Afterwards, a friend introduced Kelis to The Neptunes (Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo); they formed a strong bond, and, with their support, she landed a record deal with Virgin Records.
Kelis began recording her debut album, Kaleidoscope, in mid-1998 and was finished within a year.
Kelis is currently married to Name Unknown - Kelis.
Kelis and the Neptunes' output at this time was heralded as foreshadowing an innovation in contemporary R&B, but she later said, "I was never an R&B artist. and earned Kelis a Grammy Award nomination in 2004 for Best Urban/Alternative Performance.
People coined me one but that's because, especially if you're in the States, if you're black and you sing, then you're R&B". record company at the time, Virgin, had laid off those that worked on Kaleidoscope; their replacements did not understand or believe in Wanderland, which led her to leave the label around the time of the album's European release. Although the Neptunes contributed several tracks to Tasty—the album was released by their label Star Trak Entertainment, a joint venture with Arista Records—Kelis began collaborating with other producers, such as Dallas Austin, André 3000, Rockwilder, and Raphael Saadiq.
Kelis has been recognised at the Brit Awards, Q Awards, NME Awards, and Grammy Awards ceremonies.
Her musical output, both as a lead and featured artist, encompasses various genres—she has collaborated with R&B and hip hop acts including Busta Rhymes and Clipse, electronic and dance producers such as Calvin Harris, Timo Maas, and Richard X, pop and rock acts Enrique Iglesias and No Doubt, and indie and alternative musicians including Björk and Dave Sitek.“Everyone acts like I’m the only person who ever filed for divorce. So everything is kind of settled, I’m in my mommyhood. I got an album out and I feel like I can sort of do that… I think that’s always the easiest thing for a woman.