Keke Palmer: Queen Latifah Told Me to 'Just Be Myself' Hosting New Show
The actress and host of BET's new show Just Keke opens up about her mentor's hosting wisdom and her dream guest list
When Keke Palmer found out she was one of the youngest people ever to host a daytime talk show, she went straight to the Queen for advice.
“She was saying it definitely would be a lot of work and to prepare myself for that,” Palmer tells PEOPLE. “And that’s definitely true because there are a lot of hours and everything like that, and a lot of talking involved, hence my voice being hoarse.”
Palmer adds, “And then she said I [should] just be myself – my natural personality. She said I was a natural at it.”
Just Keke targets millennials, delving into topics from social issues and sex to relationships and growing pains.
Palmer’s “biggest crush” and Barbershop 2 costar Michael Ealy, whom she says she gushes about on Twitter, made a surprise guest appearance on the show’s premiere, when he brought her a large bouquet of roses.
Palmer says she would love to welcome another celeb crush, Drake, to the set – “He is one of my favorites” – while Rihanna, Will Smith, Denzel Washington, Halle Berry and Beyoncé round out the new host’s dream guest list.
When it comes to role models for the almost 21-year-old, Palmer says Queen Latifah has always been an inspiration.
“She’s been a big part in my career,” Palmer says of her Joyful Noise costar. “She’s always been a big supporter.”
Just Keke airs weekdays at 5 p.m. ET on BET.