Who is Demetria McKinney?

Tyler Perry’s sitcom “House of Payne“ was broadcast from 2006 until 2020, and one of the favorite characters from the series was Janine Payne, a seemingly responsible adult and mother who later appears to be a crack head; the actress who played this role was Demetria McKinney.

Her portrayal of Janine Payne in this family comedy-drama brought her a nomination for the Prism Award for Performance in a Comedy Series in 2008, and she was also nominated for the Vision Award for Best Performance-Comedy in 2009.

Besides the aforementioned role, Demetria McKinney has 35 acting credits to her name, perhaps known best for her roles in the series such as “Saints & Sinners“ and “Motherland: Fort Salem“, while to the movie lovers, she is known for starring in “A Stone Cold Christmas“, “Providence Island“, and “In the Meantime“, among others.

Early life and education

Demetria Dyan McKinney was born under the zodiac sign of Virgo on 27 August 1979, in Alburquerque, New Mexico USA – she holds American nationality, and she comes from a family of Scottish and African-American descent.

She was raised in a military family, the second oldest of nine siblings, who lived all over the world, although she hasn’t shared much about her parents and siblings.

Demetria had an interest in theatre and music from an early age, and upon matriculating from high school in 1997, she enrolled at Okaloosa-Walton Community College to study theater, however, she didn’t finish her degree because her life changed in a completely different way than what she’d planned.

She became pregnant, and the father of the baby, her then-boyfriend whose name she hasn’t shared, left her alone after she gave birth to their son. It was a hard time for Demetria, but she overcame the trials that hit her, and used them to empower other women through her partnerships with organizations which address the abuse of women.

In her interview for Consciousness Magazine, she said: ‘I’m a product of molestation; I have been homeless; I am a single mom. I have been beaten up by my significant other. I had my share of life experiences, but I’m a living testimony that your past is your past.’

Although it all seemed lost for Demetria, with the help and support of her family, she managed to fulfill her dream to perform on stage, and act on television and in movies, and subsequently, she also launched her music career.

Roles in movies

Demetria made her acting debut portraying Kim in the 2004 comedy “Meet the Browns“, written and directed by Tyler Perry, who noticed Demetria’s talent while she was performing in a play that was touring entitled “The Woman I am Today“ by Mukuka Nkunde. Two years later, she was seen in another of Perry’s movies – “Why Did I Get Married“ – a musical comedy-drama, also starring Donna Stewart and LaVan Davis.

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Demetria’s next role came in the 2007 movie “Daddy’s Little Girls“, and in the same year she starred in the short movie “Standing Reign“, followed by her roles in “Before I Wake“ (2008), “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do“ (2010), and “Church Girl“ (2011).

In the following year, Demetria was seen as a Singer in the TV movie “Raising Izzie“, and then, she portrayed Felicia in the 2013 TV movie “In the Meantime“, followed by her role as Tawny in “Let the Church Say Amen“, in the same year.

In 2017, Demetria was cast to play Whitney Houston in the biographic drama about Whitney Houston’s and Bobby Brown’s daughter, entitled “Bobbi Kristina“, followed by her role as Mary Dunbar in “Providence Island“, and she was next seen starring as Mia Stone in “A Stone Cold Christmas“ in 2018.

Demetria’s most recent roles were in the 2021 movie “Coins Forever“ and as Vanessa Bishop in “Sons 2 the Grave“ in 2022.

Roles in series

Demetria made her first television appearance portraying what is her most notable role to date, as Janine Payne in the series “House of Payne“, also starring LaVan Davis, Cassi Davis and Allen Payne, and concurrently, she was seen as Leanne in an episode of the series “Necessary Roughness“ in 2011. She then mostly guest-starred in various series, including “Chicago Med” in 2016, before she was cast to play Tamara Austin in “Saint & Sinners“ from 2016 until 2019, and from 2017 until 2018, Demetria was seen as May Westbrook in “Superstition”, and as Beretta Hobbs in “The Quad”.

The Paynes have returned to the TV screen! Catch two new episodes of @TylerPerry #HouseofPayne TONIGHT, 09/09/2020, at 8/7c on @bet !

Posted by Demetria McKinney on Wednesday, September 9, 2020

In 2019, Demetria was cast to play Carissa Walker in “A House Divided”, also starring Dominique DuVernay and Paula Jai Parker. As mentioned, “House of Payne” was aired until 2020, and after that, Demetria portrayed Anacostia Quartermain in “Motherland: Fort Salem”, a science-fiction fantasy drama, which is currently airing on Hulu.

Music career

Demetria has performed in numerous musicals; some of her notable roles were in “I Dream“, a rhythm and blues opera by Douglas Tappin based on the life of Martin Luther King Junior in 2010, and two years later, she was seen in “Dreamgirls“ by Tom Eyen and Henry Krieger, also starring Jennifer Holliday.

Her debut single, “Trade It All“ which was released in 2015, charted on Billboard’s Adult R&B Songs, and in 2017, Demetria released her debut album entitled “Officially Yours“, and was nominated for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Image Award for Outstanding New Artist in 2018. The single “Easy“ from her debut album peaked #4 on the Adult R&B Songs chart.

Love life and husband

There have been various rumors concerning Demetria’s love life; it’s known that she was in a long-term relationship with television producer Roger Bobb, whom she met back in 2006 on the set of “House of Payne“ – at that time, Roger was the executive vice president of Tyler Perry Studios.

Their love story was also prominently featured in the last season of the reality show “The Real Housewives of Atlanta“. The two became engaged on New Year’s Day 2016, and Demetria shared the news on her Instagram, saying: ‘It’s true! I’m no longer #RogerBobb girlfriend! We are #engaged’

Although all seemed great between the couple, and they even announced their wedding in September 2016, instead of the wedding date, Demetria shared with her Instagram followers that the engagement was off. She didn’t reveal the reason for their split, but some rumors were saying that Roger was unfaithful, which hasn’t been confirmed.

Demetria soon found love again with Eric ‘Nealante’ Phillips, and she posted a photo featuring the two of them, with a description saying: ‘ Life is good. I am happy, making amazing music with @nealante, and in a new relationship ….yes, with this cutie right here! Looking forward to all the future has in store. #happy #love #music #demetriamckinney #livinglife #newbeginnings.’

There is a rumor saying that since 2010 Demetria is married to Kyle Lai-Fatt, an American musician and actor, however, this is false. As of July 2022, Demetria is in a relationship, she hasn’t been married although she was engaged once, and she has one child.

Demetria was aged 17 when she gave birth to her son, Cairo, and as mentioned, she raised him as a single mother. She prefers to keep information about him a secret, however, on his 21st birthday she shared a photo featuring the two of them, and described him as her ‘greatest gift’.

Age, height, and net worth

Demetria’s age is 42, she has long curly black hair and brown eyes; she weighs around 120lbs (55kgs) and is 5ft 8ins (1.72m), with vital statistics of 31-25-34.

As of July 2022, her net worth has been estimated at over $3 million.

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