Alicia Keys Alicia Keys Alicia Keys
Alicia Keys
Born: 01.25.1981
Age: 36
Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States
Website: Alicia Keys
Alicia Keys introduces baby
02.03.2015 12:15:51 PM
Alicia Keys shares NY hotspots
04.09.2014 11:01:46 AM
Alicia Keys sued by songwriter Earl Shuman
18.12.2012 02:53:06 PM
Alicia Keys 'amazes' at album launch party
29.11.2012 04:58:24 PM
Alicia Keys feels 'more womanly' since becoming a mother
18.07.2011 11:27:11 AM
Alicia Keys says growing up was tough
16.07.2011 07:19:22 PM
Alicia Keys more conscious of what she says now she's with rapper husband Swizz Beatz
03.06.2011 10:36:37 AM
Alicia Keys found it 'hurtful' to be called a homewrecker
18.05.2011 03:23:59 PM
Alicia Keys to mark anniversary of her 'Songs in A Minor' album with a special London gig
17.04.2011 09:07:07 AM
Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga and Justin Timberlake are giving up twitter
30.11.2010 11:03:24 AM
Alicia Keys has become obsessed with biology since becoming a mother
28.10.2010 10:02:44 PM
Alicia Keys has given birth to her first child, a baby boy called Egypt
18.10.2010 01:07:34 PM
Alicia Keys married her fiance Swizz Beatz yesterday
03.08.2010 12:28:15 AM
Alicia Keys says her pregnancy is 'the most brilliant gift'
21.07.2010 11:37:45 AM
Alicia Keys is pregnant
29.05.2010 11:23:48 AM
Alicia Keys always records live
04.05.2010 08:30:07 AM
Alicia Keys looks forward to starting a family
22.03.2010 10:47:52 AM
Alicia Keys feels 'blessed' with love
01.03.2010 02:07:23 PM
Alicia Keys desperate to duet with Prince
22.01.2010 09:22:25 PM
Keys was born Alicia Augello Cook on January 25, 1981, in the Hell's Kitchen area of Manhattan, in New York City, New York. She is the daughter and only child of Teresa Augello, a paralegal and part-time actress, and Craig Cook, a flight attendant. Keys' mother is of Scottish, Irish, and Italian descent, and her father is African American; 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. 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". Throughout her childhood, Keys was sent to music and dance classes by her mother. She began playing the piano when she was seven and learned classical music by composers such as Beethoven, Mozart and Chopin. She graduated in three years as valedictorian at the age of 16. She was accepted to Columbia University and had a recording contract with Columbia Records; she attempted to manage both, but dropped out of college after four weeks to pursue her musical career.

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 entitled "Dah Dee Dah (Sexy Thing)", which appeared on the soundtrack to the 1997 film, 'Men in Black'. Following Davis to his newly formed J Records label, she 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.

Keys released her first studio album, 'Songs in A Minor', in June 2001. It debuted at number one on the 'Billboard' 200 and sold 236,000 copies in its first week. The album sold over 6.2 million copies in the United States, where it was certified six times Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). It went on to sell over 12 million copies worldwide, establishing Keys' popularity both inside and outside the United States, where she became the best-selling new artist and best-selling R&B artist of 2001. The album's lead single, "Fallin'", spent six weeks at number one on the 'Billboard' Hot 100. The album's second single," A Woman's Worth ", peaked at number three on the same chart. 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.

'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. 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 entitled" 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'. 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 singles" You Don't Know My Name "and" If I Ain't Got You "both reached the top five of the 'Billboard' Hot 100 chart, and the third single," Diary ", entered the top ten. The fourth single," Karma ", was less successful on the 'Billboard' Hot 100, peaking at number 20." 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 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. 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 $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. It remained at number one on the 'Billboard' Hot Adult R&B Airplay for 11 weeks.

Keys opened a recording studio in Long Island, New York, called The Oven Studios, which she co-owns with her production and songwriting partner Kerry "Krucial" Brothers. The studio was designed by renowned studio architect John Storyk of WSDG, designer of Jimi Hendrix' Electric Lady Studios. Keys and Brothers are the co-founders of Krucial Keys Enterprises, a production and songwriting team who assisted Keys in creating her albums as well as create music for other artists.

In 2006, Keys won three NAACP Image Awards, including and 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 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; Reynolds said that Keys was "so natural" and that she would "blow everybody away". 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. 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 nearly four million copies in the United States and has been certified three times Platinum by the RIAA. It has sold nearly six 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 and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, 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. The album's third single, "Teenage Love Affair", peaked at number three on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.

"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 Vitamin Water 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', a film adaptation of Sue Monk Kidd's acclaimed 2003 bestseller novel of the same name alongside Jennifer Hudson and Queen Latifah, released in October 2008 via Fox Searchlight. 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 ".

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". 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.

Keys and manager Jeff Robinson signed a film production deal to develop live-action and animated projects with Disney. Their first film will be a remake of the 1958 comedy 'Bell, Book and Candle' and will star Keys as a witch who casts a love spell to lure a rival's fiancé. Keys and Robinson also formed a television production company called Big Pita. Keys and Robinson will develop live-action and animated projects from their company, Big Pita and Little Pita, with Keys as producer, thespian, banner spearheading soundtrack and music supervision.

Keys is expected to play a 1940s biracial piano child prodigy, Philippa Schuyler, in an upcoming film entitled 'Compositions in Black and White'. It is based on a 1995 biographical book of the same name by Kathryn Talalay. She collaborated with record producer Swizz Beatz to write and produce "Million Dollar Bill" for Whitney Houston's seventh studio album, 'I Look to You'. Keys had approached Clive Davis for permission to submit a song for the album. Keys also collaborated with recording artist Jay-Z on the song "Empire State of Mind" from his 2009 album, 'The Blueprint 3'. The song topped the 'Billboard' Hot 100 and became her fourth number-one single on that chart. Swizz Beatz announced in May 2009, that he and Keys have been romantically involved. 'The Boston Globe' reported "Swizz and his estranged wife, Mashonda, are currently embroiled in a bitter divorce. He has always denied reports Alicia was to blame for the breakdown of his marriage".

In June 2009, 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". 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 Island Jazz Festival on December 5, the final night of the three day festival which will be broadcast on Black Entertainment Television (BET). The album's lead single, "Doesn't Mean Anything", has peaked at number 60 on the 'Billboard' Hot 100. In the United Kingdom, 'The Element of Freedom' became Keys' first album to top the UK Albums Chart.An accomplished pianist, Keys incorporates piano into a majority of her songs and often writes about love, heartbreak and female empowerment. Keys' style is rooted in gospel and vintage soul music, supplemented by bass and programmed drumbeats. She heavily incorporated 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. '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."

Keys has a vocal range of a contralto, which spans three octaves. Often referred to as the "Princess of Soul", Keys has been commended as having a strong, raw and impassioned voice; others feel that her voice is "emotionally manufactured" at times and that she pushes her voice out of its natural range. Hunkin characterized Keys' opening performance as a "headbanging, hip-gyrating performance" and her energy as "high-octane energy most bands save for their closing finale". At the end of her two-hour performance, fans "screamed, stomped and begged for a second encore". Throughout her career, Keys has won numerous awards and is listed on the Recording Industry Association of America's best-selling artists in the United States, with 14 million certified albums. She has sold over 30 million albums worldwide and has established herself as one of the best-selling artists of her time.Keys is the co-founder and Global Ambassador of Keep a Child Alive, a non-profit organization that provides medicine to families with HIV and AIDS in Africa. Keys and U2 lead singer Bono recorded a cover version of Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush's "Don't Give Up", in recognition of World AIDS Day 2005. Keys and Bono's version of the song was retitled " Don't Give Up (Africa)" to reflect the nature of the charity it was benefiting. She visited African countries such as Uganda, Kenya and South Africa to promote care for children affected by AIDS. Her work in Africa was documented in the documentary 'Alicia in Africa: Journey to the Motherland' and was available in April 2008.

Keys has also donated to Frum tha Ground Up, a non-profit organization that aids children and teenagers with scholarships. She 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 2005, Keys performed on 'Re Act 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 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. 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 various 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. For her work, Keys was honored at the 2009 BET Awards with the Humanitarian Award. 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.
This page was last updated 11.06.2010 07:48:07 PM
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