Demetria McKinney is remembered by many for her role as Janine Shelton–Payne on Tyler Perry's “House of Payne."
She’s also an incredible singer, and her voice has earned her some important roles in the film industry. The actress is a single mom, and she has been keeping her son away from the spotlight all these years.
The actress and musician made her debut in the entertainment industry when she was 21 years old, and by that time, she was already a mother.
Actress Demetria McKinney attends "Bird Box" Atlanta screening at Cinebistro Town Brookhaven | Source: Getty Images
McKinney had her first and only son before turning 18, but there’s no information about her baby daddy or her son’s name. The young man whose Instagram name is Cairo turned 24 on January 27, 2021.
McKinney has kept his identity away from the spotlight for most of his life, only sharing a glimpse of the boy a few years ago as she posted a video on Instagram to congratulate him on his birthday.
The handsome young man has his mother’s facial features, and even McKinney noticed this as she referred to him as her “mini-me” in an Instagram post she shared in the past.
As he celebrated his birthday in January, McKinney, who could not be with him, took to her Instagram caption to wish him a happy birthday, reassuring him of her love while promising him a celebration.
McKinney has been strictly overprotective of her son’s private life. Speculators believe it might be because she knows how hard it is to be put into the spotlight.
She grew up with all eyes watching her every move. The actress also knows that some celebrity families end up in tragedy, like Whitney Houston and Bobbi Kristina.
Even though acting keeps her busy, she always makes time for music which is her first love. She released her first EP, "Officially Yours," to rave reviews on October 6, 2017.
Widely recognized for her portrayal of the character of Janine Payne on the set of Tyler Perry's TBS sitcom "House of Payne," the actress has played recurring roles in productions like "Superstition," "Saints & Sinners," "The Rickey Smiley Show," among other performances.
In 2017, she starred as Whitney Houston in the TV One biopic "Bobbi Kristina." She was also on the set of "The Real Housewives of Atlanta," a Bravo TV series that kicked her off in Season 7 and gave her a cameo appearance on Season 8.
She has performed and recorded with famous artists like Musiq Soulchild, Lyfe Jennings, and Anthony David. McKinney has also opened for artists like Tyrese and Tank and has toured with R. Kelly and the Pepsi Funkfest.
She ran away from home and was homeless at the age of 17 to avoid abuse from her mother's husband and was rumored to have dropped out of school because she had a son. She then completed her studies in Italy on a scholarship.
In 1997, the actress-cum-singer gave birth to her son, but to this day, she has never revealed the identity of the boy's father. The actress revealed that it was difficult to be a single mom, but things got better as her son got older. She said:
"My son taught me a lot. There are different levels to discipline and one level of that is compassion."
Demetria McKinney, 41, has never been married but was engaged to film producer Roger M. Bobb.
They started dating in 2014 and were engaged in 2016. The engagement was said to have been called off before the year ended.