Singer/songwriter Kem was born in Nashville, Tennessee on July 23, 1969 with the name Kim Owens. He grew up in Pontiac, Michigan and in the overall city of Detroit. His affection for music began at a young age, and in an unconventional manner, when at 5 a babysitter began teaching him how to play piano. This exposure to music grew as he reached high school and participated in te school choir.

Unfortunately, life became a lot more difficult after high school. Kem has been private about the roots of his issues, but has stated that he was struggling with deep rooted personal issues that led him to get addicted to drugs and alcohol. Because of htese struggles, his mom kicked him out of the house and he began moving in and out of homeless shelters and drug rehab centers.

This part of his life was a struggle, but it served as a formative experience for a lot of the music he went on to write and create. He was kicked out of the homeless shelter he was staying in when he was 21, and began sleeping outside. He identifies this as the turning point in his life, where he became more religious and attempted to reform. He returned to music, and took on jobs as a waiter and wedding singer.

He released his first album Kemistry, as an independent album in 2002. With its initial release, he marketed and sold the album on his own. To get attention for it, he convinced beauty salons and restaurants to play the music and sell the record to their customers. The strategy worked, with the album selling over 10,000 copies from this independent push. With this success, he was able to get the attention of Motown Records who signed him to the label and re-released the album. Its single Love Calls was popular on the urban charts and helped the album go gold.

The album was followed up by Album II which came out in 2005 and was popular right out of the gates. The album quickly went gold, and nearly ten years later went on to reach platinum status.

After this flurry of two successful albums, Kem took a break from recording and it was only in 2010 that he returned with a third album, Intimacy. Despite the time away, the album was a further success, reaching gold status. The fourth album by Kem, Promise To Love, came out in 2014 and was Kem's biggest success, featuring two #1 hit singles (It's You and Nobody). Powered by the success of the album, and several large tours, Kem took a break afterwards to begin settling down and raising a family.

In 2020, Kem returned once more with his fifth album, Love Always Wins.