Alicia Keys
American singer-songwriter, pianist, and actress
Alicia Keys
Alicia Augello Cook, better known by her stage name Alicia Keys, is an American R&B singer-songwriter, record producer, sample library developer and actress. She attended Professional Performing Arts School and graduated at 16 as valedictorian. Keys released her debut album with J Records, having had previous record deals first with Columbia and then Arista Records.
Biography
Alicia Keys's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Alicia Keys from around the web
28 Organizations That Empower Black Communities
Huffington Post - 2 days
function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); Time and time again, black Americans have often come together in vulnerable times through mobilization. From the Black Panther Party to the Civil Rights Movement, there have been a number of organizations and movements that have fought to remind the nation that we too are America. If you’re looking to organize against the current, unstable political atmosphere, here’s a list of 28 active organizations that service a range of black communities. 1. Bl ...
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Huffington Post article
Dear Beyhive: Stop Whining. Beyonce Still Hasn't Earned Her Album Of The Year Grammy
Huffington Post - 4 days
function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); It’s funny. With all of the furor over Beyonce’s losing the Album of the Year Grammy for the third time, you’d think Katy Perry or Britney Spears had snatched the prize out of Queen Bey’s outstretched hands. But people, she was beaten by Adele. While I personally think there wasn’t much to 25 beyond “Hello” (for me, 19 remains Adele’s strongest album-length work), are we really going to start slamming an artist as important as the Brit with the big, boomin ...
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Huffington Post article
New Nike Ad With LeBron James, Serena Williams Makes Forceful Call For Equality
Huffington Post - 7 days
A new Nike ad makes a powerful call to end discrimination, ending with a simple message: “Equality has no boundaries.” “Opportunity should not discriminate,” says actor Michael B. Jordan, who narrates the ad released Sunday. “The ball should bounce the same for everyone.” The black-and-white spot features some of the best athletes in the world ―  including LeBron James, Serena Williams, Kevin Durant, Megan Rapinoe, Dalilah Muhammad, Gabby Douglas and Victor Cruz ― and Alicia Keys singing Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come.” Two-time Grammy Award winner Melina Matsoukas directed it.  “Is this the land history promised?” Jordan asks in his voiceover. Jordan has starred in films including “Creed” and “Fruitvale Station,” which is based on the story of Oscar Grant, an unarmed black man fatally shot by a white San Francisco transit police officer in 2009. “Worth should outshine color. If we can be equals here...” Jordan says later, as a group plays basketba ...
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Huffington Post article
In Defense Of Letting Yourself Go
Huffington Post - 9 days
By Dayna Evans For someone who’s never had a baby, I know a hell of a lot about “baby weight.” After Jessica Simpson gave birth to her first child in 2012, she was criticized publicly for how much weight she’d gained during pregnancy; the news cycle speculated so obsessively over Simpson’s body and potential “bounce back” that it inspired a Jezebel story cataloging 109 of the worst headlines. “Despite battle to lose 70 pounds, Jessica Simpson binges on birthday brownies,” wrote the Examiner; “Jessica Simpson is Working Her Way Back to Her Daisy Dukes,” wrote OK! How ghastly! Ack! The lady had put on too many pounds after, lord have mercy, bringing a real human life into the world. And after she admitted that her body was “not bouncing back like a supermodel,” Simpson, then 31, worked extra hard to get herself back into fighting form. Drew Barrymore admitted to the same disgrace recently: putting on 20 pounds when she’d been going through a divorce. “I had sort of let myself go,” s ...
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Huffington Post article
We, Too, Sing America: 17 Songs That Reflect On Being Black In America
Huffington Post - 9 days
Music has always been a sacred outlet of expression for black Americans. From singers like Nina Simone to Marvin Gaye, music made by black artists can provide a unique perspective on the meaning of being black in America. Songs like Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit,” which bemoans racist lynchings in the South, and Lauryn Hill’s “Black Rage,” which captures the many sources of black frustrations, echo tales of injustice, despondency and rage. In fact, it was Simone who said that “an artist’s duty is to reflect the times.” And she certainly wasn’t alone in her pursuance of that mission. So in honor of the musicians that used their music to amplify the struggles of black Americans, we’ve compiled a list of 17 songs that sing truth to the black experience.  Billie Holiday — “Strange Fruit”  Sam Cooke — “A Change Is Gonna Come”  Curtis Mayfield — “Keep On Pushing”  Nina Simone — “Why? (The King Of Love Is Dead)” ...
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Huffington Post article
Luke Bryan Kicks Off Super Bowl LI With National Anthem
Huffington Post - 14 days
#SB51: @LukeBryanOnline opens the Super Bowl with the National Anthem. pic.twitter.com/r9pBug1era — Hollywood Reporter (@THR) February 5, 2017 Luke Bryan started off Super Bowl LI by singing the national anthem, and it looks like he didn’t even need to write the lyrics down on his hand this time.  Ahead of the game, the 40-year-old country singer told Rolling Stone he was pulling for the Atlanta Falcons to win and had been practicing as much as he could.  “You have to not think about what’s going on outside of the stadium,” he said. “It’s almost like, [you] do an unbelievable job for the people in the stadium and then it’ll turn into that. It’s only a little over two minutes long. Get up there and do what I’ve always loved to do: sing for people. And try to take it at that – don’t overthink it.” Bryan follows this year’s halftime performer Lady Gaga, who belted out “The Star-Spangled Banner” in 2016. Previously, Idina Menzel, Alicia Keys, Christina Aguilera, ...
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Huffington Post article
Alicia Keys: We will not be stepped on
CNN - 29 days
At the Women's March on Washington, singer Alicia Keys read a political message to the crowds: "We will not allow our compassionate souls to get stepped on."
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CNN article
What’s on TV Friday: The Inauguration, Bill Maher and Alicia Keys
NYTimes - about 1 month
Donald J. Trump is sworn in as the 45th president, giving Bill Maher plenty to expound on as “Real Time” begins its 15th season.
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NYTimes article
Alicia Keys’s Very Own Masterpiece Theater
NYTimes - about 1 month
Ms. Keys pays homage to New York in a PBS series, “Landmarks Live in Concert: A Great Performances Special.”
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NYTimes article
Apple Music Taps All Your Faves To Host New 'Carpool Karaoke' Series
Huffington Post - about 1 month
When Apple first announced the surprise purchase of “Carpool Karaoke” ― a series based on the popular segment from “The Late Late Show” hosted by James Corden, we weren’t sure what to expect.  On Monday morning, the show’s executive producer Ben Winston provided some details while speaking at a panel during the 2017 Winter TCA Press Tour.  “We’re going to have 16 different hosts,” he said, according to Deadline. Among them are stars like Chelsea Handler, Billy Eichner and Seth MacFarlane. The series, which executive producer Eric R. Pankowski described as “16 specials” as opposed to “a full TV series,” will seemingly be more of an interview series, with each episode lasting about 30 minutes.  “Each one was its own event,” Pankowski said.  In terms of giving up the driver’s seat for this new iteration of “Carpool Karaoke,” Corden didn’t seem too upset.  “I’m still going to see my kid on the weekends. This just became a wonderful platform to s ...
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Huffington Post article
5 Black Beauty Moments That Stole The Spotlight In 2016
Huffington Post - 2 months
function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); Let’s be real, 2016 was filled with so many magical black girl beauty moments. From music videos to magazine covers, black women rocked them all.  On Thursday’s episode of the “BV Breakdown” ― HuffPost Black Voices’ bi-weekly show devoted to all things black culture ― Essence’s fashion and beauty director Julee Wilson joined as a guest to reflect on a few of her favorite show-stopping looks. This list is by no means comprehensive (we’d be here all day if it ...
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Huffington Post article
Alicia Keys Says Blended Families Should Be Celebrated
ABC News - 2 months
The singer is promoting her new music video, "Blended Family."
Article Link:
ABC News article
The Top Songs of 2016: A Mixtape for a Crazy Year
Huffington Post - 2 months
Some years are groovier than others. This year, music provided a steadying backbeat against the craziness of the political climate. We recoiled from depressing TV news segments and reached for the beats to keep us sane. Who knows if we will emerge from the funk in 2017? If not, we hope music continues to be our guide rope through this alternate reality. We love the artists and songs that delivered bold statements, notable comebacks and other creative noises to make 2016 bearable. Here's how the year went down: Technology majorly influenced how we discovered music. Streaming platforms put countless new releases at our fingertips, but these services also proved to be cluttered landscapes wherein quality albums by megastars like Sting or Paul Simon went largely unnoticed in the mainstream (even if Simon's whole record, especially "Proof of Love," was sublime). We were gifted with Leonard Cohen's final work (which proved interestingly dark, as its title promised) just two weeks before hi ...
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Huffington Post article
What's Alicia Keys' secret?
CNN - 3 months
Fifteen Grammys and six studio albums into her career, Alicia Keys still hasn't cracked the formula for a hit song.
Article Link:
CNN article
Bon Jovi takes Billboard's No.1 album spot for sixth time
Reuters.com - 3 months
(Reuters) - New albums from rockers Bon Jovi and R&B singer Alicia Keys took the two top spots on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart on Monday, while the soundtrack for kids movie "Trolls" moved in to third place.
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Reuters.com article
A Makeup Artist Makes The Case For Not Wearing Makeup
Huffington Post - 3 months
By Kathleen Hou If you once paid $100 for a bottle of green Chanel polish on eBay, blame makeup artist Peter Philips. The former creative director of Chanel Makeup and current creative and image director for Dior Beauty is the man responsible for some of the most iconic, covetable beauty trends and images of the past few decades. Crystal eyebrows? That was him. The Raf Simons Mickey Mouse makeup? All Philips. The full face masks on Björk? Again, his work. To celebrate Dior’s decades of beauty heritage, the fashion house and Philips recently debuted The Art of Color, a new book celebrating the brand’s past and current makeup creative directors. The Cut talked to Philips about his thoughts on the no-makeup movement, how social media helped Dior’s grey lipstick sell out, and what RuPaul’s Drag Race has contributed to beauty. Related: 7 of the Best Fall Lipsticks Paired with the Best Fall Coats How did the book come together? It represents the eras of Dior, with previous mak ...
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Huffington Post article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Alicia Keys
    THIRTIES
  • 2016
    Age 35
    On July 26, 2016, Keys performed at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, appearing after former president Bill Clinton spoke, and before a video appearance by Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
    More Details Hide Details An accomplished pianist, Keys incorporates piano into a majority of her songs and often writes about love, heartbreak and female empowerment. She has cited several musicians as her inspirations, including Carole King, Whitney Houston, Prince, Nina Simone, Barbra Streisand, Marvin Gaye, Quincy Jones, Donny Hathaway and Stevie Wonder. Keys' style is rooted in gospel and vintage soul music, supplemented by bass and programmed drumbeats by Joseph Quevedo. She heavily incorporates classical piano with R&B, soul and jazz into her music. She began experimenting with other genres, including pop and rock, in her third studio album, As I Am, transitioning from neo soul to a 1980s and 1990s R&B sound with her fourth album, The Element of Freedom. Patrick Huguenin of the New York Daily News stated that her incorporation of classical piano riffs contributed to her breakout success. Jet magazine states she "thrives" by touching her fans with "piano mastery, words and melodious voice". The Independent described her style as consisting of "crawling blues coupled with a hip-hop backbeat", noting that her lyrics "rarely stray from matters of the heart". Blender magazine referred to her as "the first new pop artist of the millennium who was capable of changing music."
    On May 28, 2016, Keys performed in the opening ceremony of 2016 UEFA Champions League Final in San Siro, Milan.
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    On May 4, 2016, Keys released her first single in four years, entitled "In Common".
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    On March 25, 2016, Keys was announced to be joining Miley Cyrus as a new judge on Season 11 of The Voice.
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  • 2015
    Age 34
    Keys played the character Skye Summers in the second season of Empire. She first appeared in the episode "Sinned Against", which aired November 25, 2015.
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    In September 2015, Swizz Beatz stated that Keys' sixth studio album will be released in 2016.
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    In 2015 Keys performed at the BET Awards 2015 with The Weeknd.
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  • 2014
    Age 33
    Keys gave birth to her second child, a son, on December 27, 2014.
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    In November 2014, Keys announced that she is releasing a series of children's books.
    More Details Hide Details The first book released is entitled Blue Moon: From the Journals of MaMa Mae and LeeLee.
    On September 8, 2014, Keys uploaded the music video to a new song called "We Are Here" to her Facebook page, accompanied by a lengthy status update describing her motivation and inspiration to write the song.
    More Details Hide Details It was released digitally the following week. Keys was also working with Pharrell Williams on her sixth studio album, first set for a 2015 release. In an interview with Vibe, Keys described the sound of the album as "aggressive". One of the songs on the album is called "Killing Your Mother". Keys also played the piano on a Diplo-produced song "Living for Love" which featured on Madonna's thirteenth studio album Rebel Heart (2015).
    In July 2014, it was reported that Keys had changed management from Red Light Management's Will Botwin to Ron Laffitte and Guy Oseary at Maverick.
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    In 2014, Keys collaborated with Kendrick Lamar on the song "It's On Again" for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 soundtrack.
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  • 2013
    Age 32
    In 2013, she performed a duet with Italian singer Giorgia on the song "I Will Pray (Pregherò)".
    More Details Hide Details In November, the song was extracted as the second single from Giorgia's album Senza Paura and has been marketed in digital stores worldwide.
    In June 2013, her VH1 Storytellers special was released on CD and DVD.
    More Details Hide Details Also, Keys and Maxwell were working on a "Marvin Gaye/Tammi Terrell" type of duets EP.
    In January 2013, BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins and singer Alicia Keys officially unveiled the BlackBerry 10 mobile platform in New York City. Keys signed up to help sell BlackBerry devices. BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins announced on January 30, 2013 that the Grammy Award winning singer would be the company's new Global Creative Director.
    More Details Hide Details In January 2014, BlackBerry said it will part ways with singer Alicia Keys at the end of that month, a year after the Canadian company signed her up as its global creative director in a widely publicised move.
  • 2012
    Age 31
    Keys released her fifth studio album Girl on Fire through RCA Records on November 27, 2012.
    More Details Hide Details Keys has stated that she wants the album to "liberate" and "empower" fans. The album's title track was released on September 4 as its lead single and peak number eleven on Billboard hot 100, the single was Keys's first top twenty own single on the chart since 2007 single "Like You'll Never See Me Again", she performed the song for the first time at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards on September 6. "Girl on Fire" is an uptempo anthem. "Brand New Me" was released as the album's second single. A softer ballad, it was noted as significantly different from the album's lead single. Prior, two songs from Girl on Fire were released as promotion. The first was a song titled "New Day". The song was later revealed to be the solo version of 50 Cent's lead single featuring Dr. Dre and Keys. Another song, "Not Even the King" was uploaded to VEVO as a promotional song. Co-written by Scottish singer-songwriter Emeli Sandé, its lyrics talk about a rich love that couldn't be afforded by "the king". Overall sales of the album were considerable lower than Keys' previous ones.
    In September 2012, Keys collaborated with Reebok for her own sneakers collection.
    More Details Hide Details In October, Keys announced her partnership with Bento Box Entertainment's Bento Box Interactive to create an education mobile application titled "The Journals of Mama Mae and LeeLee" for iOS devices about the relationship between a young New York City girl and her wise grandmother. The app will feature two of Keys' original songs, "Follow the Moon" and "Unlock Yourself".
  • TWENTIES
  • 2011
    Age 30
    On September 26, 2011, was the premiere of Project 5, known as Five, a short film that marks the debut of Keys as a director.
    More Details Hide Details It is a documentary of five episodes that tell stories of five women who were victims of breast cancer and how it affected their lives. The production also has co-direction of the actresses Jennifer Aniston, Demi Moore and film director Patty Jenkins. In October 2011, RCA Music Group announced it was disbanding J Records along with Arista Records and Jive Records. With the shutdown, Keys will release her future material on RCA Records.
    Keys is also set to co-produce the Broadway premiere of Stick Fly, which was scheduled to open in December 2011.
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  • 2010
    Age 29
    On October 14, 2010, Keys gave birth to their son, in New York City.
    More Details Hide Details She recorded a song together with Eve called "Speechless", which is dedicated to her son. In June 2011, Songs in A Minor was re-released as deluxe and collector's editions in commemoration of its 10th anniversary. To support the release, Keys embarked on a four-city promotional tour, titled Piano & I: A One Night Only Event With Alicia Keys, featuring only her piano.
    Keys and Beatz had a wedding celebration on the French island of Corsica on July 31, 2010.
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    In May 2010, a representative for Keys and Swizz Beatz confirmed that they were engaged and expecting a child together.
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    In February 2010, Keys released the fourth single, "Empire State of Mind (Part II) Broken Down" peaked at fifty-five on the Hot 100 and seventy-six on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
    More Details Hide Details In May, "Un-Thinkable (I'm Ready)" featuring rapper Drake was released as the album's fifth single. While only peaking at twenty-one on the Billboard Hot 100, it topped the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for twelve consecutive weeks. The song became the album's most successful single; Keys eighth number one on the chart; and Key's first number one song in five years. The album's sixth and final single, "Wait Til You See My Smile", was released in December 2010 in the United Kingdom.
  • 2009
    Age 28
    Keys released her fourth studio album, The Element of Freedom, in December 2009.
    More Details Hide Details It debuted at number two on the Billboard 200, selling 417,000 copies in its first week. As part of the promotional drive for the album, she performed at the Cayman Islands Jazz Festival on December 5, the final night of the three-day festival which will be broadcast on BET. It was preceded by the release of its lead single "Doesn't Mean Anything" which peaked at sixty on the Hot 100, and fourteen on Billboards Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. Keys was ranked as the top R&B recording artist of the 2000–2009 decade by Billboard magazine and ranked at number five as artist of the decade, while "No One" was ranked at number six on the magazine's top songs of the decade. In the United Kingdom, The Element of Freedom became Keys' first album to top the UK Albums Chart. The album's second single, "Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart", was released in November and peaked at number twenty-seven on the Hot 100 and number two on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The album's third single "Put It in a Love Song" featured recording artist Beyoncé. The music video for the single, which was filmed in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, has been postponed several times, and later it was confirmed that Alicia Keys' team made a decision not to release the video.
    In 2009, Keys approached Clive Davis for permission to submit a song for Whitney Houston's sixth studio album I Look to You.
    More Details Hide Details She subsequently co-wrote and produced the single "Million Dollar Bill" with record producer Swizz Beatz. Months later, she was featured on rapper Jay-Z's song "Empire State of Mind" which was the lead single from his eleventh studio album The Blueprint 3. The song was a commercial and critical success, topping the Billboard Hot 100, becoming her fourth number-one song on that chart. Additionally, it won Grammy Awards for 'Best Rap/Sung Collaboration and 'Best Rap Song' the following year, among a total of five nominations. The following month, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers honored Keys with the Golden Note Award, an award given to artists "who have achieved extraordinary career milestones". She collaborated with Spanish recording artist Alejandro Sanz for "Looking for Paradise", which topped the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart, this was Keys' first number one on all three charts, which also made her the first Black-American of non-Hispanic origin to reach #1 on the Hot Latin Tracks.
    She also received three nominations at the 2009 Grammy Awards and won Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for "Superwoman".
    More Details Hide Details In an interview with Blender magazine, Keys allegedly said "'Gangsta rap' was a ploy to convince black people to kill each other, 'gangsta rap' didn't exist" and went on to say that it was created by "the government". The magazine also claimed she said that Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G. were "essentially assassinated, their beefs stoked by the government and the media, to stop another great black leader from existing". Keys later wrote a statement clarifying the issues and saying her words were misinterpreted. Later that year, Keys was criticized by anti-smoking campaigners after billboard posters for her forthcoming concerts in Indonesia featured a logo for the A Mild cigarette brand sponsored by tobacco firm Philip Morris. She apologized after discovering that the concert was sponsored by the firm and asked for "corrective actions". In response, the company withdrew its sponsorship.
  • 2008
    Age 27
    In 2008, Keys was ranked in at number 80 the Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists.
    More Details Hide Details She also starred in The Secret Life of Bees, a film adaptation of Sue Monk Kidd's acclaimed 2003 bestseller novel of the same name alongside Jennifer Hudson, Dakota Fanning, Paul Bettany and Queen Latifah, released in October 2008 via Fox Searchlight. The Secret Life of Bees had a hit moderate performance at the box office, earning only $39,947,322 worldwide during its theatrical run. Her role earned her a nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture at the NAACP Image Awards.
    She starred in "Fresh Takes", a commercial micro-series created by Dove Go Fresh, which premiered during The Hills on MTV from March to April 2008.
    More Details Hide Details The premiere celebrated the launch of new Dove Go Fresh. She also signed a deal as spokesperson with Glacéau's VitaminWater to endorse the product, and was in an American Express commercial for the "Are you a Cardmember?" campaign. Keys, along with The White Stripes' guitarist and lead vocalist Jack White, recorded the theme song to Quantum of Solace, the first duet in Bond soundtrack history.
    "No One" earned Keys the awards for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song at the 2008 Grammy Awards.
    More Details Hide Details Keys opened the ceremony singing Frank Sinatra's 1950s song "Learnin' the Blues" as a "duet" with archival footage of Sinatra in video and "No One" with John Mayer later in the show. Keys also won Best Female R&B Artist during the show.
  • 2007
    Age 26
    From October 27, 2007, when "No One" reached No. 1, through February 16, 2008, the last week "Like You'll Never See Me Again" was at No. 1, the Keys was on top of the chart for 17 weeks, more consecutive weeks than any other artist in Hot R&B/Hip/Hop Songs chart.
    More Details Hide Details The album's third single, "Teenage Love Affair", which peaked at number 54 on the 'Billboard Hot 100 and number three on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. The album's fourth and final single, "Superwoman", which peaked at number 82 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 12 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.
    Keys released her third studio album, As I Am, in November 2007; it debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, selling 742,000 copies in its first week.
    More Details Hide Details It gained Keys her largest first week sales of her career and became her fourth consecutive number one album, tying her with Britney Spears for the most consecutive number-one debuts on the Billboard 200 by a female artist. The week became the second largest sales week of 2007 and the largest sales week for a female solo artist since singer Norah Jones' album Feels like Home in 2004. The album has sold three million copies in the United States and has been certified three times Platinum by the RIAA. It has sold five million copies worldwide. Keys received five nominations for As I Am at the 2008 American Music Award and ultimately won two. The album's lead single, "No One", peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for five consecutive weeks and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for ten consecutive weeks, became her first number-one single in Hot 100 since 2004's "My Boo" and becoming Keys' third and fifth number-one single on each chart, respectively. The album's second single, "Like You'll Never See Me Again", was released in late 2007 and peaked at number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number one on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for seven consecutive weeks.
    Keys made her film debut in early 2007 in the crime film Smokin' Aces, co-starring as an assassin named Georgia Sykes opposite Ben Affleck and Andy García.
    More Details Hide Details Keys received much praise from her co-stars in the film; Ryan Reynolds called her "so natural" and said she would "blow everybody away." Smokin' Aces was a moderate hit at the box office, earning $57,103,895 worldwide during its theatrical run. In the same year, Keys earned further praise for her second film, The Nanny Diaries, based on the 2002 novel of the same name, where she co-starred alongside Scarlett Johansson and Chris Evans. The Nanny Diaries had a hit moderate performance at the box office, earning only $44,638,886 worldwide during its theatrical run. She also guest starred as herself in the "One Man Is an Island" episode of the drama series Cane.
    She made her film debut in Smokin' Aces and also went on to appear in The Nanny Diaries in 2007.
    More Details Hide Details Her third studio album, As I Am, was released in the same year and sold five million copies worldwide, earning Keys an additional three Grammy Awards. The following year, she appeared in The Secret Life of Bees, which earned her a nomination at the NAACP Image Awards. She released her fourth album, The Element of Freedom, in December 2009, which became Keys' first chart-topping album in the United Kingdom. She released her fifth album, Girl on Fire, in November 2012, which became Keys' fifth chart-topping album in the United States. Keys released her second live album, VH1 Storytellers, in June 2013. In 2014, Keys became the face of Parfums Givenchy new fragrance Dahlia Divin Eau de Parfum and continued as the face of the fragrance through 2015 with the launch of Dahlia Divin Eau de Toilette. Throughout her career, Keys has won numerous awards such as 15 Grammy Awards, and has sold over 35 million albums and 30 million singles worldwide. Billboard magazine named her the top R&B songs artist of the 2000s decade. In 2010, VH1 included Keys on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. Billboard magazine placed her number ten on their list of Top 50 R&B/Hip-Hop Artists of the Past 25 Years. In February 2012, Keys was ranked 14 on VH1's 100 Greatest Women in Music list. Keys was ranked at number thirty-three on VH1's "50 Greatest Women of the Video Era" list and number 10 on their "100 Sexiest Artists" list.
  • 2006
    Age 25
    In October 2006, she played the voice of Mommy Martian in the "Mission to Mars" episode of the children's television series The Backyardigans, in which she sang an original song, "Almost Everything Is Boinga Here".
    More Details Hide Details That same year, Keys nearly suffered a mental breakdown. Her grandmother had died and her family was heavily dependent on her. She felt she needed to "escape" and went to Egypt for three weeks. She explained: "That trip was definitely the most crucial thing I've ever done for myself in my life to date. It was a very difficult time that I was dealing with, and it just came to the point where I really needed to—basically, I just needed to run away, honestly. And I needed to get as far away as possible."
    In 2006, Keys won three NAACP Image Awards, including Outstanding Female Artist and Outstanding Song for "Unbreakable".
    More Details Hide Details She also received the Starlight Award by the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
  • 2005
    Age 24
    Keys performed and taped her installment of the MTV Unplugged series in July 2005 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
    More Details Hide Details During this session, Keys added new arrangements to her original songs and performed a few choice covers. The session was released on CD and DVD in October 2005. Simply titled Unplugged, the album debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart with 196,000 units sold in its first week of release. The album sold one million copies in the United States, where it was certified Platinum by the RIAA, and two million copies worldwide. The debut of Keys' Unplugged was the highest for an MTV Unplugged album since Nirvana's 1994 MTV Unplugged in New York and the first Unplugged by a female artist to debut at number one. The album's first single, "Unbreakable", peaked at number 34 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number four on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. It remained at number one on the Billboard Hot Adult R&B Airplay for 11 weeks. The album's second and final single, "Every Little Bit Hurts", was released in January 2006, it failed to enter the U.S. charts.
    Keys performed "If I Ain't Got You" and then joined Jamie Foxx and Quincy Jones in a rendition of "Georgia on My Mind", the Hoagy Carmichael song made famous by Ray Charles in 1960 at the 2005 Grammy Awards.
    More Details Hide Details That evening, she won four Grammy Awards: Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for "If I Ain't Got You", Best R&B Song for "You Don't Know My Name", Best R&B Album for The Diary of Alicia Keys, and Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals" for "My Boo" with Usher.
    The book sold over US$500,000 and Keys made The New York Times bestseller list in 2005.
    More Details Hide Details The following year, she won a second consecutive award for Best R&B Video at the MTV Video Music Awards for the video "Karma".
    The album garnered her an additional four Grammy Awards in 2005.
    More Details Hide Details Later that year, she released her first live album, Unplugged, which debuted at number one in the United States. She became the first female to have an MTV Unplugged album to debut at number one and the highest since Nirvana in 1994. Keys has made guest appearances on several television series, beginning with The Cosby Show and most recently on season 2 of Empire.
  • 2004
    Age 23
    Keys won Best R&B Video for "If I Ain't Got You" at the 2004 MTV Video Music Awards; she performed the song and "Higher Ground" with Lenny Kravitz and Stevie Wonder.
    More Details Hide Details Later that year, Keys released her novel Tears for Water: Songbook of Poems and Lyrics, a collection of unreleased poems from her journals and lyrics. The title derived from one of her poems, "Love and Chains" from the line: "I don't mind drinking my tears for water." She said the title is the foundation of her writing because "everything I have ever written has stemmed from my tears of joy, of pain, of sorrow, of depression, even of question".
    Keys also collaborated with recording artist Usher on the song "My Boo" from his 2004 album, Confessions (Special Edition).
    More Details Hide Details The song topped the Billboard Hot 100 for six weeks and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for three weeks, became her first number-one single in Hot 100 since 2001's "Fallin'".
  • 2003
    Age 22
    Keys followed up her debut with The Diary of Alicia Keys, which was released in December 2003. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, selling over 618,000 copies its first week of release, becoming the largest first-week sales for a female artist in 2003.
    More Details Hide Details It sold 4.4 million copies in the United States and was certified four times Platinum by the RIAA. It sold eight million copies worldwide, becoming the sixth biggest-selling album by a female artist and the second biggest-selling album by a female R&B artist. The album's lead single, "You Don't Know My Name", peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 and number one on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for eight consecutive weeks, her first Top 10 single in both charts since 2002's "A Woman's Worth". The album's second single, "If I Ain't Got You", was released in February 2004 and peaked at number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number one on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for six weeks. The album's third single, "Diary", peaked at number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number two on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, being their third consecutive Top 10 single in both charts. The album's fourth and final single, "Karma", which peaked at number 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 17 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, first release to fail to achieve top ten status on both charts. "If I Ain't Got You" became the first single by a female artist to remain on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart for over a year.
  • 2002
    Age 21
    Songs in A Minor led Keys to win five awards at the 2002 Grammy Awards: Song of the Year, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, and Best R&B Song for "Fallin'", Best New Artist, and Best R&B Album; "Fallin'" was also nominated for Record of the Year.
    More Details Hide Details Keys became the second female solo artist to win five Grammy Awards in a single night, following Lauryn Hill at the 41st Grammy Awards. That same year, she collaborated with Christina Aguilera for the latter's upcoming album Stripped on a song titled "Impossible", which Keys wrote, co-produced, and provided with background vocals. During the early 2000s, Keys also made small cameos in television series Charmed and American Dreams.
    The album earned Keys five Grammy Awards in 2002, including Best New Artist and Song of the Year for "Fallin'", becoming the second American recording artist to win five Grammys in one night.
    More Details Hide Details Her second studio album, The Diary of Alicia Keys, was released in 2003 and was also another success worldwide, selling eight million copies.
  • TEENAGE
  • 2001
    Age 20
    Keys' first studio album Songs in A Minor was released in June 2001.
    More Details Hide Details Musically, it incorporated classical piano in an R&B, soul and jazz album. Jane Stevenson of Jam! described the music as "old-school urban sounds and attitude set against a backdrop of classical piano and sweet, warm vocals". USA Todays Steve Jones wrote that Keys "taps into the blues, soul, jazz and even classical music to propel haunting melodies and hard-driving funk". Debuting at number one on the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 236,000 units, it went on to sell over 6.2 million copies in the United States and 12 million copies internationally. Additionally, it was certified six times Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. Songs in A Minor established Keys' popularity both inside and outside of the United States where she became the best-selling new artist of the year. The album's release was preceded by the April release of her debut single, "Fallin'", which spent six weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100. The album's second single, "A Woman's Worth", was released in February 2002 and peaked at seven on the Hot 100 and number three on Billboards Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs; becoming her second top ten single on both charts. Released in June, "How Come You Don't Call Me" served as the album's third single, peaking at 59 on the Hot 100. The album's fourth single "Girlfriend" was released in the United Kingdom where it peaked at 82.
  • 1997
    Age 16
    Keys signed a demo deal with Jermaine Dupri and So So Def Recordings, where she appeared on the label's Christmas album performing "The Little Drummer Girl". She also co-wrote and recorded a song titled "Dah Dee Dah (Sexy Thing)", which appeared on the soundtrack to the 1997 film, Men in Black.
    More Details Hide Details The song was Keys' first professional recording; however, it was never released as a single and her record contract with Columbia ended after a dispute with the label. Keys was unhappy with the label because her career had stalled during her two years under contract at Columbia due to executive indecision over her direction and major changes within the company. Keys called Clive Davis, who sensed a "special, unique" artist from her performance and signed her to Arista Records, which later disbanded. Keys almost chose Wilde as her stage name until her manager suggested the name Keys after a dream he had. Keys felt that name represented her both as a performer and person. Following Davis to his newly formed J Records label, she worked with Kerry "Krucial" Brothers and recorded the songs "Rock wit U" and "Rear View Mirror", which were featured on the soundtracks to the films Shaft (2000) and Dr. Dolittle 2 (2001), respectively.
  • 1994
    Age 13
    In 1994, Keys met long-term manager Jeff Robinson after she enrolled in his brother's after-school program.
    More Details Hide Details The following year Robinson introduced Keys to her future A&R at Arista Records, Peter Edge, who later described his first impressions to HitQuarters: "I had never met a young R&B artist with that level of musicianship. So many people were just singing on top of loops and tracks, but she had the ability, not only to be part of hip-hop, but also to go way beyond that." Edge helped Robinson create a showcase for Keys and also got involved in developing her demo material. He was keen to sign Keys himself but was unable to do so at that time due to being on the verge of leaving his present record company. Keys signed to Columbia Records soon after. At the same time as signing a recording contract with Columbia Records, Keys was accepted at Columbia University. At first, Keys attempted to manage both, but after a month, she dropped out of college to pursue her musical career full-time.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1985
    Age 4
    In 1985, Keys made an appearance on The Cosby Show at the age of four, where she and a group of girls played the parts of Rudy Huxtable's sleepover guests in the episode "Slumber Party".
    More Details Hide Details Throughout her childhood, Keys was sent to music and dance classes by her mother. She studied classical piano from age seven, playing composers such as Beethoven, Mozart, and Chopin, and enrolled in the Professional Performing Arts School at the age of 12, where she majored in choir and began writing songs at the age of 14. She graduated in four years as valedictorian at the age of 16.
  • 1981
    Age 0
    Keys was born Alicia Augello Cook on January 25, 1981, in the Hell's Kitchen area of Manhattan, in New York City.
    More Details Hide Details She is the only child of Teresa (Augello), a paralegal and part-time actress, and Craig Cook, a flight attendant. Keys' father is African-American and her mother is of Italian, Scottish and Irish descent. Keys has expressed that she was comfortable with her biracial heritage because she felt she was able to "relate to different cultures". Her parents separated when she was two and she was subsequently raised by her mother during her formative years in Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan. Keys has 2 younger half brothers: Clay Cook (Branch) and Cole Cook.
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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