Alicia Keys

  • R&B singer, songwriter and pianist born Alicia Cook in 1981 from New York New York.
  • As a child, she attended dance and music classes, studying classical piano and attending the Professional Performing Arts School in New York, where she graduated valedictorian at the age of 16. She met her future manager when she was 13, and the following year, he introduced her to a record executive. The executive helped her with demos, but was unable to sign her to his label. She signed with Columbia Records, but left after 2 years as the label was indecisive over her direction. She then signed with Arista Records, who was led by Clive Davis. Davis soon was let go by Arista, and Keys followed him to the newly formed J Records.
  • She was planning to take the stage name of Alicia Wilde, but her manager suggested the name Keys after he had a dream about it. She liked Alicia Keys, as it represented her both as a performer and a person.
  • Her first recordings were songs she wrote for movie soundtracks. Dah Dee Dah (Sexy Thing) from the film Men In Black was released in 1997. Exciting for Keys – 16 years old and writing and performing for a blockbuster film soundtrack! She also wrote and performed Rock Wit U from the 2000 film Shaft, and Rear View Mirror from the 2001 film Dr. Doolittle 2. 
  • Keys’ first studio album, released in 2001, was Songs In A Minor. All the songs were written by Keys, except 1 song by Prince, and 1 song by Brian McKnight. The album was a huge success, with over 6 million copies sold in the U.S., and over 16 million sold worldwide. It topped the Billboard 200 album chart, and the debut single (and her signature song), Fallin, topped the Hot 100 chart. The song won 3 Grammy awards, including Song of the Year, and the album received 2 more Grammy awards. A second single from the album, A Woman’s Worth, peaked at #7 on the Hot 100 chart.
  • Her next album was released in 2003 – The Diary of Alicia Keys. It debuted at #1 on the album chart, and is 4x platinum. All 3 singles from the album were top 10 hits on the Hot 100 chart – You Don’t Know My Name peaked at #3, If I Ain’t Got You reached #4, and Diary reached #8. Keys earned 3 more Grammy awards from the album.
  • In 2004, she collaborated with Usher on his hit song My Boo – Keys co-wrote the song with Usher and others, and it topped the Hot 100 chart. Also that year, she released a novel – Tears For Water – Songbook of Poems and Lyrics. The book made the New York Times Bestseller list in 2005.
  • She recorded an MTV Unplugged live album in 2005. It was the first Unplugged album ever for a female artist to debut at #1 on the album chart.
  • Keys released her next studio album in 2007 – As I Am. She continued her string of mega-successes – the album is triple platinum, it was her fourth consecutive #1 album, and she won 3 Grammy awards. The single No One peaked at #1 on the Hot 100 chart – her third song to reach the top of the chart.
  • 2009’s Element of Freedom album missed the #1 spot on the album chart by 1. It sold over 1 million copies in the U.S., and it included her seventh and final #1 single on the R&B chart, Un-Thinkable (I’m Ready). Also that year, she collaborated and co-wrote Jay-Z’s Empire State of Mind – the song stayed #1 for 5 weeks and won 2 Grammy awards.
  • Two more studio albums have been released – Girl On Fire (another Grammy award, another platinum album) in 2012 and Here in 2016.
  • Keys has done numerous things in TV and films. In addition to contributing songs to 18 soundtracks, she has acted in 9 TV shows or films, has performed 3 times on Saturday Night Live, and was a coach on The Voice for 2 seasons.
  • Alicia Keys is a fabulous R&B artist – super talented. Watch the video to the song that put her on the map – Fallin’. 

1 thought on “Alicia Keys”

  1. Wasn’t expecting Alicia Keys so beautiful as a soul singer—anyway this is the first time seeing her face even I heard FALLING many times~

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