1 The singer whose fourth album, Kelis Was Here, drops Aug. 22 was born in Harlem. Her father is African-American and her mother is Puerto Rican and Chinese.
2 Known for her outré style, Kelis gives props to her first inspiration: her mom, Eveliss. ''She had really red nails and red lips, and all this hair and jewelry. I just remember looking at her like, She's dope.''
3 But she wasn't born with that fashion sense. ''I had an E.T. T-shirt that my mom used to have to wait for me to go to sleep to take it off.''
4 Her family even inspired some of her tattoos. ''I got three orchids first, to represent me, and my mom, and my little sister.''
5 ''All three of my sisters are doctors,'' Kelis says. ''But nobody really thought I would follow them.''
6 Hip-hop icon Nas is her husband of more than a year. ''He's an artist, so he understands what I go through. It makes it harder and easier.''
7 She already has a career to fall back on: ''I like the art of making food look good,'' says Kelis, who's putting out a cookbook in 2007. ''Honestly, I just love to eat.''
8 Also next year, she'll launch her second line of fashion accessories.
9 Her preferred accessory? Harlem, the Pomeranian she takes everywhere. ''He's dyed blue. It's vegetable-based, so it's lighter around his mouth where he licks it off.''
10 The clothes may be wild and her songs sexy, but don't make assumptions based on what you see. ''I go to church, and I have my own Bible study when I'm traveling.''