ABC7 custodian, opera singer Keanon Kyles steps into limelight

CHICAGO (WLS) -- From building custodian to opera star. That's the story and dream of Chicagoan Keanon Kyles.

Kyles, who has worked as an ABC7 custodian for six years, started singing in the Chicago Children's Choir and is closer to the world's great opera houses.

Hollywood musicals are back, based on the success of the new "La La Land," so singing is back.

In the spring, ABC7 profiled Kyles, a young South Sider with the impossible dream of becoming an opera star. To achieve that dream he needed a paycheck and works as a custodian and also teaches voice.

Now it's all paying off. Over the weekend, he performed a concert at the Greater Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church on East 53rd Street.

"Since the last story, the English National Opera has invited me back to be a part of their national touring company, as well as the Lyric Opera which has invited me for an audition in February," Kyles said.
"Yeah, I'm so excited. I think it's going to be an amazing year for me."

During his weekend performance, he bathed in the limelight and then went back to his custodian job. But that's just fine with him.

"I feel being a custodian is important and it also helps me pay bills. It's money that I need and it's also flexible with my schedule. It allows me to do concerts and rehearsals and other thinks I need," Kyles said.

When Kyles started working at ABC7, no one knew he was a gifted singer. But now, his story is a musical set in a newsroom.

He sings opera, but also standards and Broadway hits.

What about rap? "You know, if 'Hamilton' calls me, maybe," Kyles joked.
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