|Height:||165 cm (5' 5'')|
|Birth Day:||January 25, 1981|
|Birth Place:||New York City, United States|
|Height:||165 cm (5' 5'')|
|Eye Color:||Dark Brown|
|Hair Color:||Dark Brown|
First singer to receive five Grammy Awards at once after releasing her debut album, Songs in A Minor, which included "Fallin'," in 2001. Her hit album Girl on Fire earned her a 15th career Grammy Award in 2014 when it was named Best R&B Album.
With the net worth of $150 Million, Alicia Keys is the # 1974 richest person on earth all the time follow our database.
Lotus Evora GTE Fisker Karma White Porsche
Real Estate: In 2013 Alicia and Swizz paid $12.1 million for an enormous mansion in the town of Englewood, New Jersey. The 5.4-acre property has a 25,000 square-feet and used to be owned by Eddie Murphy. It has 32 rooms. They previously owned a NYC apartment which they bought from Lenny Kravitz in 2010 for $12.75 million and sold in 2013 for a slight loss.
In September 2019 Alicia and Swizz paid $20.8 million for an opulent mansion in La Jolla, California that had previously been listed for $30 million.
Alicia Augello was born on January 25, 1981, in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of New York City. She is the only child of Teresa Augello, who was a paralegal and part-time actress, and one of three children of Craig Cook, who was a flight attendant. Keys' father is African American and her mother is of Italian, Irish, and Scottish descent; her mothers paternal grandparents were immigrants from Sciacca in Sicily. Named after her Puerto Rican godmother, Keys expressed that she was comfortable with her multiracial heritage because she felt she was able to "relate to different cultures". Keys' father left when she was two and she was subsequently raised by her mother during her formative years in Hell's Kitchen. Keys said her parents never had a relationship, and her father was not in her life. Although she did not like to speak about her father in order to not feed stereotypes, Keys remarked in 2001: "I'm not in contact with him. That's fine. When I was younger, I minded about that. [It] made me angry. But it helped show me what a strong woman my mother was, and made me want to be strong like her. Probably, it was better for me this way." Keys and her mother lived in a one-room apartment. Her mother often worked three jobs to provide for Keys, who "learned how to survive" from her mother's example of tenacity and self-reliance.
In 1994, manager Jeff Robinson met 13-year old Keys, who participated in his brother's youth organization called Teens in Motion. Robinson's brother had been giving Keys vocal lessons in Harlem. His brother had talked to him about Keys and advised him to go see her, but Robinson shrugged it off as he had "heard that story 1,000 times". At the time, Keys was part of a three-girl band that had formed in the Bronx and was performing in Harlem. Robinson eventually agreed to his brother's request, and went to see Keys perform with her group at the Police Athletic League center in Harlem. He was soon taken by Keys, her soulful singing, playing contemporary and classical music and performing her own songs. Robinson was excited by audiences' reactions to her. Impressed by her talents, charisma, image, and maturity, Robinson considered her to be the "total package", and took her under his wing. By this time, Keys had already written two of the songs that she would later include on her debut album, "Butterflyz" and "The Life".
Robinson wanted Keys to be informed and prepared for the music industry, so he took her everywhere with him, including all the meetings with attorneys and negotiations with record labels, while the teenager often became disgruntled with the process. Robinson had urged Keys to pursue a solo career, as she remained reluctant, preferring the musical interactions of a group. She took Robinson's advice after her group disbanded, and contacted Robinson who in 1995 introduced her to A&R executive Peter Edge. Edge later described his first impressions of Keys to HitQuarters:
Columbia Records had recruited a team of songwriters, producers and stylists to work on Keys and her music. They wanted Keys to submit to their creative and image decisions. Keys said they were not receptive to her contributions and being a musician and music creator. While Keys worked on her songs, Columbia executives attempted to change her material; they wanted her to sing and have others create the music, forcing big-name producers on her who demanded she also write with people with whom she was not comfortable. She would go into sessions already prepared with music she had composed, but the label would dismiss her work in favor of their vision. "It was a constant battle, it was a lot of -isms", Keys recalled. "There was the sexism, but it was more the ageism – you're too young, how could you possibly know what you want to do? – and oh God, that just irked me to death, I hated that." "The music coming out was very disappointing", she recalled. "You have this desire to have something good, and you have thoughts and ideas, but when you finish the music it's shit, and it keeps on going like that." Keys would be in "perpetual music industry purgatory" under Columbia, while they ultimately "relegated [her] to the shelf". She had performed "Little Drummer Girl" for So So Def's Christmas compilation in 1996, and later co-wrote the song "Dah Dee Dah (Sexy Thing)" for the Men in Black (1997) film soundtrack, the only released recording Keys made with Columbia.
Keys had wanted to leave Columbia since they began "completely disrespecting [her] musical creativity". Leaving Columbia was "a hell of a fight", she recalled. "Out of spite, they were threatening to keep everything I'd created even though they hated it. I thought I'd have to start over again just to get out, but I didn't care." Keys said in 2001: "It's been one trial, one test of confidence and faith after the next." To Keys, "success doesn't just mean that I'm the singer, and you give me my 14 points, and that's all. That's not how it's going to go down." Edge, who was by that time head of A&R at Arista Records, said, "I didn't see that there was much hands-on development at Columbia, and she was smart enough to figure that out and to ask to be released from her contract, which was a bold move for a new artist." Edge introduced Keys to Arista's then-president, Clive Davis, in 1998. Davis recalled:
Robinson and Keys, with Davis' help, were able to negotiate out of the Columbia contract and she signed to Arista Records in late 1998. Keys was also able to leave with the music she had created. Davis gave Keys the creative freedom and control she wanted, and encouraged her to be herself. Keys said of Davis' instinct: "he knows which artists are the ones that maybe are needing to craft their own sound and style and songs, and you just have to let an artist go and find that space. And I think he somehow knew that and saw that in me and really just let me find that." After signing with Davis, Keys continued honing her songs. Keys almost chose Wilde as her stage name at the age of 16 until her manager suggested the name Keys after a dream he had. She felt that name embodied her both as a performer and person. Keys contributed her songs "Rock wit U" and "Rear View Mirror" to the soundtracks of the films Shaft (2000) and Dr. Dolittle 2 (2001), respectively.
In 2000, Davis was ousted from Arista and the release of Keys' album was put on hold. Later that year, Davis formed J Records and immediately signed Keys to the label. "He didn't try to divert me to something else", Keys said on following Davis to his new label. He understood that she wants to be herself and not "made into what somebody else thinks I should be."
Songs in A Minor, which included material that Columbia Records had rejected, was released on June 5, 2001, to critical acclaim. Musically, it incorporated classical piano in an R&B, soul and jazz-fused album. Jam! described the music as "old-school urban sounds and attitude set against a backdrop of classical piano and sweet, warm vocals". USA Today wrote that Keys "taps into the blues, soul, jazz and even classical music to propel haunting melodies and hard-driving funk". Songs in A Minor would be "lauded for its mix of traditional soul values and city-girl coolness", wrote The Guardian. PopMatters wrote that "Keys's Songs in A Minor is a testament to her desire (and patience) to create a project that most reflects her sensibilities as a 20-year-old woman and as a musical, cultural, and racial hybrid."
Keys transcends genres, The Recording Academy also stated, incorporating her "classical background into her music and including gospel, jazz, blues and vintage soul, rock, and pop influences", and she is "one of the most respected musicians of today." Jet said that in 2001, Keys "ushered in a marriage between classical and soul music." BBC's Babita Sharma stated in 2016 that Keys has had a significant impact "on the R&B-soul-jazz sound of the last two decades". MOBO described Keys as an accomplished pianist, singer, songwriter and producer who is "responsible for the emergence of vintage R&B imbibed with a post-modernist twist where genres divinely melt" and "has made a consistent and indelible contribution" to the music industry, her "unique approach" making classical music more accessible and "diffusing barriers between traditional and contemporary". ASCAP stated that Keys' "innovative and enduring contributions to rhythm & soul music have earned her an Extraordinary Place in American Popular Music."
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 Billboard's 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", Keys' cover of Prince's song, 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. The following year, the album was reissued as Remixed & Unplugged in A Minor, which included eight remixes and seven unplugged versions of the songs from the original.
Keys has earned numerous awards including 15 competitive Grammy Awards, 17 NAACP Image Awards, 9 Billboard Music Awards and 7 BET Awards. Keys received 5 Grammy Awards in 2002, becoming the second female artist to win as many in one night. In 2005, Keys was awarded the Songwriters Hall of Fame Hal David Starlight Award, which honors "gifted songwriters who are at an apex in their careers and are making a significant impact in the music industry via their original songs". That year, ASCAP awarded Keys Songwriter of the Year at its Rhythm & Soul Music Awards. In 2007, she was a recipient of The Recording Academy Honors, which "celebrate outstanding individuals whose work embodies excellence and integrity and who have improved the environment for the creative community." In 2014, Fuse ranked her as the thirteenth-most awarded musician of all time.
Keys performed Donny Hathaway's 1973 song "Someday We'll All Be Free" at the America: A Tribute to Heroes televised benefit concert following the September 11 attacks. Keys protested at the New York City Hall against proposed budget cuts for students' education in June 2002. Keys has also donated to Frum tha Ground Up, a non-profit organization that aids children and teenagers with scholarships. In 2005, Keys performed on ReAct Now: Music & Relief and Shelter from the Storm: A Concert for the Gulf Coast, two benefit programs that raised money for those affected by Hurricane Katrina. In July 2007, Keys and Keith Urban performed The Rolling Stones' 1969 song "Gimme Shelter" at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey at the American leg of the Live Earth concerts.
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. 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 the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart 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. Keys also collaborated with recording artist Usher on the song "My Boo" from his 2004 album, Confessions (Special Edition). 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 on the Hot 100 since 2001's "Fallin'". 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.
While attending the Cannes Film Festival in May 2004, it was announced that Keys intended to make her film debut in a biopic about biracial piano prodigy Philippa Schuyler. The film was to be co-produced by Halle Berry and Marc Platt. 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". The book sold over US$500,000 and Keys made The New York Times bestseller list in 2005. The following year, she won a second consecutive award for Best R&B Video at the MTV Video Music Awards for the video "Karma". 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. 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.
Keys performed and taped her installment of the MTV Unplugged series in July 2005 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. 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 has cited several artists as her inspirations, including Whitney Houston, John Lennon, Sade, Aretha Franklin, Bob Marley, Carole King, Prince, Nina Simone, Marvin Gaye, Quincy Jones, Donny Hathaway, Curtis Mayfield, Barbra Streisand, and Stevie Wonder. An accomplished classical pianist, Keys incorporates piano into a majority of her songs. Keys was described by New York Daily News as "one of the most versatile musicians of her generation". Keys' music is influenced by vintage soul music rooted in gospel, while she heavily incorporates classical piano with R&B, jazz, blues and hip hop into her music. The Guardian noted that Keys is skilled at fusing the "ruff hip-hop rhythms she absorbed during her New York youth" into her "heartfelt, soulful R&B stylings". The Songwriters Hall of Fame stated that Keys broke onto the music scene with "her unmistakable blend of soul, hip-hop, jazz and classical 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. In 2005, The Independent described her musical style as consisting of "crawling blues coupled with a hip-hop backbeat, and soul melodies enhanced with her raw vocals". The New York Daily News stated that her incorporation of classical piano riffs contributed to her breakout success. Jet magazine stated she "thrives" by touching fans with "piano mastery, words and melodious voice". In 2002, The New York Times wrote that on stage Keys "invariably starts with a little Beethoven" and "moves into rhythm-and-blues that's accessorized with hip-hop scratching, jazz scat-singing and glimmers of gospel." Keys's debut album, PopMatters wrote, reflects her sensibilities as young woman and as a "musical, cultural, and racial hybrid." NPR stated in 2016 that Keys' overall work consists of notable "diversity to style and form". Salon wrote that the diversity of Keys' music is "representative of her own border-breaking background and also emblematic of the variety responsible for the excitement and energy of American culture."
Keys has been referred to as the "Queen of R&B" by various media outlets. Time has listed her in its list of 100 most influential people twice. Journalist Christopher John Farley wrote: "Her musicianship raises her above her peers. She doesn't have to sample music's past like a DJ scratching his way through a record collection; she has the chops to examine it, take it apart and create something new and personal with what she has found" in 2005. In 2017, Kerry Washington also wrote "Songs in A Minor infused the landscape of hip-hop with a classical sensibility and unfolded the complexity of being young, gifted, female and black for a new generation. Alicia became an avatar for millions of people, always remaining true to herself" in 2017. Rolling Stone named Songs in A Minor as one of the "100 Greatest Albums", and its single "Fallin'" in their "100 greatest songs" of the 2000s decade.
In 2005, Keys performed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as part of the worldwide Live 8 concerts to raise awareness of the poverty in Africa and to pressure the G8 leaders to take action. In November 2006, Keys joined David Bowie for what would turn out to be his final live performance at a fundraising event in New York's Hammerstein Ballroom, where they sang a three-song set which included "Changes". In June 2011, Keys spoke alongside musician Annie Lennox at the United Nations AIDS conference in New York. She participated in a panel titled "HIV Priorities for Positive Change: In Women's Words", in which she calls on supporting organizations that provide treatment and care for families affected by AIDS. Empowering the next generation of women, she says, would greatly aid in the end to the disease.
In 2006, Keys won three NAACP Image Awards, including Outstanding Female Artist and Outstanding Song for "Unbreakable". She also received the Starlight Award by the Songwriters Hall of Fame. 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". 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."
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. 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.
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. 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 on the 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. 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 on the Hot R&B/Hip/Hop Songs chart. 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' lyrical content has included themes of love, heartbreak, female empowerment, hope, her philosophy of life and struggles, inner city life experiences, and social and political commentary. John Pareles of The New York Times noted that Keys presents herself as a musician first, and lyrically, her songs "plunge into the unsettled domain of female identity in the hip-hop era, determined to work their way through conflicting imperatives", while she plays multiple roles in her songs, expressing loyalty, jealousy, rejection, sadness, desire, fear, uncertainty, and tenacity. Pareles considered in 2007 that Keys did not "offer private details in her songs" and that her musical compositions make up for a lack of lyrical refinement. Gregory Stephen Tate of The Village Voice compared Keys' writing and production to 1970s music. NPR described a few foundational elements in Key's music: "heartache or infatuation", a "tenderness and emotion made heavy with wisdom", a "patiently unfurling melody", and her "yearning" voice. In 2016, referencing her sixth album, Here, Salon noted a "hypnotic tension" in Keys' lyrical expression and complimented her "sense of rhythmic timing" and socio-political consciousness.
She participated in the Nobel Peace Prize Concert which took place at the Oslo Spektrum in Oslo, Norway, on December 11, 2007, along with other artists. She recorded a theme song for Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama. She joined Joss Stone and Jay-Z on the effort, which served as a theme song for Obama's campaign. Keys performed the song "Prelude to a Kiss", retitled "Send Me an Angel", from her 2007 album As I Am for the "Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief" telethon in response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake.
"No One" earned Keys the awards for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song at the 2008 Grammy Awards. 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. 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. 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. In 2008, Keys was ranked in at number 80 the Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists. She also starred in The Secret Life of Bees Her role earned her a nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture at the NAACP Image Awards. She also received three nominations at the 2009 Grammy Awards and won Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for "Superwoman".
Keys is listed on the Recording Industry Association of America's best-selling artists in the United States, selling over 17.8 million albums and 21.9 million digital songs. She has sold over 30 million albums worldwide. Billboard ranked Keys as the fifth-most successful artist of the 2000s decade, top R&B artist of the 2000s decade, and placed her at number 10 in their list of Top 50 R&B/Hip-Hop Artists of the Past 25 Years. Keys was the best-selling new artist and best-selling R&B artist of 2001. She has attained 4 Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles from 9 top-ten singles. She has also attained 8 Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Airplay number-one singles, and set a Guinness World Record on the former in 2008, when she became the first artist to replace herself at number one with "No One" and "Like You'll Never See Me Again". "No One" and "Empire State of Mind" are also amongst the list of best-selling singles worldwide. Keys is one of three female artists included on Billboard magazine's list of the "Top 20 Hot 100 Songwriters, 2000–2011" for writing songs that topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Keys is the co-founder and Global Ambassador of Keep a Child Alive, a non-profit organization that provides medicine, orphan care, and social support to families with HIV and AIDS in Africa and India. Keys was born during a time when the AIDS epidemic was gaining a lot of attention in the United States. She was first affected by the HIV/AIDs crisis at 8 years old when her mother's friend died from the disease. She discovered first-hand the extensive impact of the AIDS epidemic years later on a visit to South Africa, a trip that was the impetus to cofounding Keep a Child Alive. Keys had befriended AIDS activist Leigh Blake, who had reached out to her and helped raise her awareness to the global impact of HIV/AIDS. Keys and Leigh visited South African clinics with HIV-infected mothers and children, where Keys encountered the lack of resources and education on the disease present in the communities. Keys visited other African countries such as Uganda and Kenya to promote care for children affected by AIDS. Her work in Africa was recorded in the documentary Alicia in Africa: Journey to the Motherland which was released in April 2008.
In 2009, Keys approached Clive Davis for permission to submit a song for Whitney Houston's sixth studio album I Look to You. 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 African-American of non-Hispanic origin to reach #1 on the Hot Latin Tracks.
Keys released her fourth studio album, The Element of Freedom, in December 2009. 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 would 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 Billboard's 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. 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. 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.
In 2009, the BET Awards honored Keys with the Humanitarian Award "for all the work she has done with children around the world". BET stated:
In May 2010, a representative for Keys and Swizz Beatz confirmed that they were engaged and expecting a child together. Keys and Beatz had a wedding celebration near the Mediterranean Sea on July 31, 2010. On October 14, 2010, Keys gave birth to their first son, in New York City. She recorded a song together with Eve called "Speechless", dedicated to her son.
Keys had a low-profile relationship with her long time friend and collaborator Kerry Brothers Jr. until 2008. Keys later dated hip hop artist-producer Swizz Beatz. Keys and Beatz, who have known each other since they were teenagers, announced they were engaged and expecting their first child in May 2010. They held a Zulu ceremony to bless their unborn child in the Illovo suburb of Johannesburg, South Africa, during the 2010 FIFA World Cup. They were married on July 31, 2010 in a private ceremony near the Mediterranean Sea. Keys gave birth to son Egypt Daoud Dean in October 2010. She gave birth to their second son, Genesis Ali Dean, in December 2014.
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 is also set to co-produce the Broadway premiere of Stick Fly, which was opened in December 2011. At the end of June, a wax figure of Keys was unveiled at Madame Tussauds New York. 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. 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.
In 2011, the Producer's Guild of America honored Keys at its "Digital 25: Leaders in Emerging Entertainment" awards, which recognizes "individuals or teams who have made exceptional contributions to the advancement of digital entertainment and storytelling." She was awarded for her work with her foundation Keep A Child Alive. In 2014, Keys was honored by Unite 4 Humanity with the Music Visionary Award for "her work as an activist and Founder of Keep A Child Alive".
Keys released her fifth studio album Girl on Fire through RCA Records on November 27, 2012. 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 considerably lower than Keys' previous ones.
In September 2012, Keys collaborated with Reebok for her own sneakers collection. In October 2012, 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".
In September 2012, she was featured in a campaign called "30 Songs / 30 Days" to support Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, a multi-platform media project inspired by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn's book. In March 2013, Keys teamed up with Greater Than AIDS to launch EMPOWERED, a new public information campaign to reach women in the United States about HIV/AIDS. Appearing in a public service announcement for EMPOWERED, Keys spoke with five women whose lives have been affected by HIV/AIDS. In December 2012, Keys performed alongside many other native New Yorkers in 12-12-12: The Concert for Sandy Relief to benefit victims of Hurricane Sandy.
In January 2013, BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins and Keys officially unveiled the BlackBerry 10 mobile platform in New York City. Heins announced that Keys would be the company's new Global Creative Director. In February 2013, Keys said she was hacked when her Twitter account tweeted tweets from an iPhone. In January 2014, BlackBerry said it will part ways with Keys at the end of that month.
In March 2013, VH1 placed Keys at number 10 on their 100 Sexiest Artist list. In June 2013, Keys' VH1 Storytellers special was released on CD and DVD. Also, Keys and Maxwell were working on a "Marvin Gaye/Tammi Terrell" type of duets EP. In 2013, she performed a duet with Italian singer Giorgia on the song "I Will Pray (Pregherò)". 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 2014, Keys collaborated with Kendrick Lamar on the song "It's On Again" for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 soundtrack. 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.
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. 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". In the same interview Keys revealed one of the songs on the album was titled "Killing Your Mother" with WWD, Keys discussed her first beauty campaign with Givenchy as the face of the new fragrance Dahlia Divin. 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 November 2014, Keys announced that she is releasing a series of children's books. The first book released is entitled Blue Moon: From the Journals of MaMa Mae and LeeLee. Keys gave birth to her second child, son Genesis Ali Dean, on December 27, 2014. In 2015 Keys performed at the BET Awards 2015 with The Weeknd. In September 2015, Swizz Beatz stated that Keys' sixth studio album will be released in 2016. 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.
Keys hosts and is the musical director of Keep A Child Alive's annual fundraising gala called the Black Ball. Every year, artists and other celebrities come together to support and perform to raise funds for the cause. The Black Ball has featured performances from an array of artists including David Bowie, Bono, Pattie Smith, Annie Lennox, Mary J. Blige, Jay-Z, John Mayer, Beyonce, Adele, Justin Timberlake, Carole King, and Roy Ayers. Activists and philanthropists have also been honored at the Black Ball, including Oprah, former President Bill Clinton, Clive Davis, Youssou N'Dour, Sir Richard Branson, and Bono. According to Keys, the Black Ball held in 2014 raised around 2.4 million dollars. Keys and U2 lead singer Bono recorded a cover version of Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush's "Don't Give Up" to raise funds for Keep a Child Alive. Their version of the song was retitled "Don't Give Up (Africa)" to reflect the nature of the charity it was benefiting.
VH1 have listed Keys in their "100 Greatest Artists of All Time", 14th on "100 Greatest Women", and 33rd on "50 Greatest Women of the Video Era" lists. Considered a music icon, Keys was placed at number 27 on Billboard's "35 Greatest R&B Artists of All Time" list in 2015. The BET Honors honored Keys for her contributions to music with the Entertainment Award in 2008. In 2009, ASCAP honored Keys with its Golden Note Award, presented "to songwriters, composers, and artists who have achieved extraordinary career milestones." ASCAP President Paul Williams stated: "Since joining the ASCAP family at the age of 17, Alicia has grown into one of the most highly recognized and influential songwriter/performers of the past decade, whose artistry puts her in the league with many of her musical idols". In 2011, Keys was honored at the Gala celebration of the 40th anniversary of Woodie King Jr.'s New Federal Theatre, as one of "13 individuals that changed the cultural life of our nation", including Sidney Poitier, Ntozake Shange, Ruby Dee, David Dinkins, and Malcolm Boyd.
In 2015, The Recording Academy honored Keys in Washington D.C., with the Recording Artists' Coalition Award for "her artistry, philanthropy and her passion for creators' rights as a founding member of the Academy's brand-new GRAMMY Creators Alliance". In 2018, she was honored by The Recording Academy's Producers & Engineers Wing for her "outstanding artistic contributions" and accomplishments. The Recording Academy stated:
On March 25, 2016, Keys was announced as a new coach on Season 11 of The Voice. During The Voice finale, she came in third place with team member We' McDonald. On May 4, 2016, Keys released her first single in four years, entitled "In Common". On May 28, 2016, Keys performed in the opening ceremony of 2016 UEFA Champions League Final in San Siro, Milan. The song topped Billboard's Dance Club Songs chart on October 15. On June 20, 2016, World Refugee Day, Keys released the short film Let Me In, which she executive produced in conjunction with her We Are Here organization. The film is a reimagining of the refugee crisis as taking place in the United States. On July 26, 2016, Keys performed at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. In October 2016, she released a single from upcoming album Here called Blended Family (What You Do For Love) feat. A$AP Rocky. On November 1, 2016, Keys unveiled her short film, "The Gospel," to accompany the LP. Here was released on November 4, peaking at number 2 of the Billboard 200, becoming her seventh top 10 album. It peaked at number-one on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, becoming her seventh chart topper. On October 9, 2016, Keys performed a concert Here in Times Square in Times Square, New York. The performance was televised by BET on November 3, 2016.
Keys is also distinguished for being in control of her artistic output and image and having fought for creative independence since getting signed at 15 years old. PopMatters called Keys an artist who "clearly has a fine sense of her creative talents and has struggled to make sure they are represented in the best way." Rolling Stone wrote that, with her classical training, Keys "reintroduced the idea of a self-reliant (but still pop-friendly) R&B singer-songwriter – a type that stretches back to Stevie Wonder", crossing generational lines in the process. Blender magazine expressed that Keys emerged as a "singer-songwriter-instrumentalist-producer with genuine urban swagger", and her largely self-produced second album showcased her growing "deftness and explorative verve". In 2016, NPR stated that Keys "stood apart from pop trends while forging a remarkable career" and "sustained her focus on artistry". MOBO described Keys as an accomplished pianist, singer, songwriter and producer who "has made a consistent and indelible contribution" to the music industry, her "unique approach" making classical music more accessible and "diffusing barriers between traditional and contemporary" while "keeping musical excellence at the core of her art". In 2003, The Guardian wrote that Keys' largely self-created work is an "indication of how much power she wields", and described her as "an uncompromising artist" who "bears little resemblance" to contemporary stars.
In July 2016, Keys participated in a video on taking action against systemic racism in the United States titled, "23 Ways You Could Be Killed if You are Black in America". After the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States in 2017, Keys protested during the Women's March on Washington. She was one of the key speakers, and said, "we want the best for all Americans. No hate, no bigotry, no Muslim registry. We value education, health care, equality." She added that she cares about women's equal pay, war, women's rights, and environmental protection. Keys also sang a version of her hit song "Girl on Fire".
In January 2017, she released the track "That's What's Up" that re-imagines the spoken word segment on the Kanye West song "Low Lights". Keys returned for Season 12 of The Voice and won the competition with her artist Chris Blue, on May 23, 2017. In May 2017, in an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Keys announced that she was working on her seventh studio album, therefore she did not return for the thirteenth series of The Voice. In a letter to her fans, on the 'As I Am' 10th Anniversary, she revealed that the album is almost ready. In August 2017, she attended WE Day, an event of Canadian WE Charity organization. On September 17, 2017, Keys performed at Rock in Rio, in a powerful and acclaimed performance. On October 18, 2017, NBC announced that Keys would be returning to the series for the show's fourteenth season of The Voice alongside veterans Levine, Shelton, and new coach Kelly Clarkson. She placed in second place with her team member, Britton Buchanan. She will not return for the upcoming fifteenth season of The Voice. She wrote and composed the song "We Are Here", which was featured in the short film We Rise; that film was part of the New-York Historical Society's "Hotbed" exhibit about women's suffrage, which ran from November 3, 2017 to March 25, 2018. On December 5, 2017, Hip-hop artist Eminem revealed that Keys collaborated on the song "Like Home" for his ninth studio album Revival. Keys also featured on the song "Morning Light" from Justin Timberlake's fifth studio album Man of the Woods (2018) and on "Us", the third single from James Bay's second studio album Electric Light. On December 6, 2018, Keys spoke at the 13th Annual Billboard Women in Music event spotlighting her new non-profit named "She Is the Music". As part of her address, Keys spoke briefly of the organization's efforts in creating an inclusive database of women in music and a partnership with Billboard to mentor young women interested in the music industry.
In 2017, Keys received and shared the award for the Ambassador of Conscience from Amnesty International alongside Canadian Indigenous rights activists. The award is bestowed on activists "who have stood up to injustice, inspired others and furthered the cause of human rights", showing "exceptional leadership and courage in championing human rights". Amnesty said that Keys "has used her career and platform as a 15-time Grammy award-winning artist to inspire and campaign for change ... [and] has increasingly interwoven her activism with her art. Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International, stated:
In 2018, The National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) honored Keys with the Songwriter Icon award for her "credits as a music creator" and her "role as an inspirational figure to millions". NMPA president David Israelite wrote about Keys: "She's a songwriter icon, but she is also an icon of confidence and encouragement to all. Through her writing, performing, philanthropy, mentoring and advocacy for fair compensation for her fellow songwriters, she is a true force for good in our industry and beyond".
On June 30, 2018, Keys spoke at the Families Belong Together protest.
In 2018, Keys was honored at Variety's Power of Women luncheon for her work with Keep A Child Alive.
On January 15, 2019, Alicia Keys was announced as the host of the 61st Annual Grammy Awards. This was Keys' first time being the master of ceremonies for the event. When Keys hosted the event on February 10, 2019 it became the first time a woman hosted the show in 14 years. Keys’ performance playing two pianos at the same time was declared as one of the best performances/most memorable moments of the 61st Annual Grammy Awards by Entertainment Tonight as well as the Los Angeles Daily News who also noted her fashion. Keys dedicated the performance to those who have inspired her, including Scott Joplin and Hazel Scott, and drew the audience in by welcoming them to what she called "Club Keys". Vox stated Alicia Keys was one of three reasons the 2019 Grammy Awards Ceremony was good, calling her the perfect host.
In May 2019, Keys attended the 2019 Met Gala themed "Camp: Notes on Fashion" in New York City wearing a light aqua green sequined dress with hood alongside her husband Kasseem "Swizz Beatz" Dean who wore a dark green suit and black bow tie. The next month, Keys performed at Pride Live's Stonewall Day Concert on June 28, 2019 wearing a white jumpsuit with the name of her upcoming song "Show Me Love" in multi-colored beads on the back of the jumpsuit. Included in the songs she performed was her own song "Girl on Fire", the performance was part of a concert in honor of those who fought for gay (LGBT) community rights in the Stonewall Riots. On July 26, 2019, Bloomberg News reported Keys and Beatz were avidly purchasing works by artist Tschabalala Self and that they decided to keep two of the pieces they bought and donate one to the Brooklyn Museum. Less than a month later, Keys and Beatz revealed their plans for an art and music center including that they plan to have the center located in Macedon in upstate New York and to name it "Dean Collection Music & Art Campus".
Alicia Keys was announced as the buyer of the "Razor House" in the La Jolla community of San Diego, California in early September 2019. In an interview with Billboard on December 5, 2019 Keys' recent move with her husband to the West Coast was briefly discussed. Keys noted that she was enjoying having time to explore the more open landscape and the change of scenery, even finding the fog gorgeous.
In September 2019, Keys released a new single, "Show Me Love" with Miguel. The accompanying music video starred actors Michael B. Jordan and Zoe Saldana. The song impacted urban radio on September 24, 2019 as the first single from Keys' upcoming seventh studio album. Keys performed the track for the first time during her appearance at the 2019 iHeart Radio Music Festival in Las Vegas. The song was a commercial success on US Urban music charts and became Keys' first song to reach the Billboard Hot 100 since "Girl on Fire" in 2012; peaking at number 90 on November 22, 2019. This success extended her record as the artist with the most number one singles on the Adult R&B Songs chart; reigning for 5 consecutive weeks. The song was atop this chart at the #1 position the weeks of December 14, December 21, and December 28 in 2019 and the weeks of January 4 and January 11 in 2020. As of the week of January 11, 2020 "Show Me Love" had been on the Adult R&B Songs Chart (any position) for 16 weeks (the chart has 30 positions). It also became Keys’ 11th song to reach number one on the Adult R&B Songs chart. It was followed by the release of the single "Time Machine" in November 2019. The music video for "Time Machine" was released the same month and noted for its retro roller rink setting and vibes.
In December 2019 Keys was awarded the American Express Impact Award for her efforts to foster female artist growth and provide them with new opportunities through the non-profit she co-founded the year before and developed in 2019 named She Is the Music. Keys received the award at the 14th Annual Women in Music Billboard event on December 12, 2019.
On January 26, 2020 Alicia Keys hosted the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards for the second year in a row as announced on November 14, 2019. In addition to hosting the event, Keys performed multiple times including a tribute with Boyz II Men to basketball star Kobe Bryant who died in a helicopter crash earlier that same day. Keys also performed her new song "Underdog" with Brittany Howard backing the performance on acoustic guitar. Keys’ outfits for the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards Ceremony on January 26, 2020 were also praised by Today for their showstopping gorgeousness. In addition to her outfits, Keys’ stylish hair and on-point overall sense of style were recognized and covered by People. Less than a week later, Keys presented a $20,000 scholarship to a teenager going to school in Texas alongside Ellen DeGeneres on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" in support of his college education and in encouragement of him keeping his hair (long dreadlocks) intact for graduation. Their hope is that the high school he's attending lets him walk at high school graduation without having to cut his dreadlocks to a shorter length.
Keys' seventh studio album Alicia was originally scheduled to be released on May 15, 2020, but then got postponed to September 18, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The new album features a four-square cover art piece showing Keys’ head and shoulders from different views. Alicia: The World Tour, Keys' first tour in seven years, was supposed to begin in Europe in June 2020, with the first planned stop on her tour Dublin on June 5. After Europe, Alicia Keys would then have toured North America where she also planned to end her tour in Miami, Florida on September 22, 2020.
Keys released her memoir More Myself: A Journey on March 31, 2020.
Alicia was born to Terria Joseph and Craig Cook and raised alongside her brother Cole. Alicia married rapper Swizz Beatz on July 31, 2010. They had a son named Egypt in October 2010 and a second son named Genesis in December 2014.
|#1||Cole Cook||Brother||$5 Million (Approx.)||N/A||29||Celebrity Family Member|
|#2||Genesis Ali Dean||Children||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#3||Egypt Daoud Dean||Children||$1 Million - $2 Million (Approx.)||N/A||10||Celebrity Family Member|
|#4||Craig Cook||Father||$1 Million - $2 Million (Approx.)||N/A||33||Motorcycle Racer|
|#5||Joseph L. Augello||Grandfather||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#7||Swizz Beatz||Spouse||$150 Million||N/A||42||Rapper|
Currently, Alicia Keys is 40 years, 4 months and 19 days old. Alicia Keys will celebrate 41st birthday on a Tuesday 25th of January 2022. Below we countdown to Alicia Keys upcoming birthday.
Alicia Keys debuts new song on 36th birthday - Times of India
Singer Alicia Keys has celebrated her 36th birthday with new music.