Image source: Rolling Stone
Whether she’s hitting the notes right or dazzling in front of the cameras, or hosting an iconic show like the Grammys, Alicia Keys is an undeniable talent. Born Alicia Augello Cook in New York, New York, U.S., on January 25, 1981, Alicia Keys is a singer, songwriter, pianist, and actress who enjoyed massive success as an entertainer. Alicia Keys enjoyed huge success in the early 2000s with her blend of soul music and R&B. Her music journey dates back to 1985 when she was four years old. She began performing music at such a young age and advanced to playing the piano when she clocked 7, focusing on classical music and jazz.
By the age of 14, Alicia started composing, and in 1997, she graduated from the Professional Performing Arts School in Manhattan as a valedictorian. In 1998, Clive Davis signed her to his record label, Arista Records. In 2000, Clive Davis formed another record label called J Records, and Alicia signed with the new label. She released “Songs in a Mirror,” her debut album in 2001, which featured the number one hit, “Fallin,” which sold over 10 million copies globally. In 2002, she won Grammy Awards, including categories like “Best new artist” and “Song of the year.” She released “The Diary of Alicia Keys,” her second album the following year, and right after, she had a duet with Usher titled “My Boo,” which spent six weeks on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart as the number one song.
Between 2000 and 2005, Alicia Keys was undoubtedly one of the leading artists in Pop music. In 2007, she released the album “As I Am,” which featured the Grammy-winning hit single, “No One,” which was followed by creating the lead single on the soundtrack album for the James Bond film, Quantum of Solace with White Stripes. She won another Grammy Award for Best female R&B vocal performance with the single “Superwoman” in 2009, and that same year, she teamed up with Jay Z on the chart-topping single, “Empire State of Mind.” She released three more albums since then titled “The Element of Freedom” (2009), “Here” (2016), and “Alicia” (2020).
Outside music, Alicia Keys has also featured in some movies such as “The Nanny Diaries,” “Smokin’ Aces,” and “The Secret Life of Bees.” She was a coach on the singing competition, The Voice, from 2016 to 2020, and she was the host at the Grammy Awards ceremonies in 2019 and 2020. She published her memoir, “More Myself,” written with Michelle Burford in 2020. Alicia Keys is an iconic multi-platinum that is more than the sultry musician the world has come to love. Before music, she started her journey in entertainment as an actress in an episode of The Cosby Show in 1985. She has fifteen Grammy Awards to her name and has been a noteworthy role model to women worldwide.
Alicia may have given off a reserved aura despite being a celebrity; she hasn’t failed to show off her talented self when it mattered. At the 2019 Grammy Awards ceremony, she played two pianos simultaneously, and her National Anthem performance at the 2013 Super Bowl is the longest performance ever. She co-founded the non-profit, Keep a Child Alive” and she has taken part in various notable fundraising activities. She is married to Swizz Beats with two sons, Egypt and Genesis, and step-children Nicole, Prince, and Kasseem Jr.
With seven albums to her name, Alicia Keys has cemented her name as one of the most iconic entertainers to grace the world and has held on to that crown for the past two decades.