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Alicia Keys

By

Alicia Keys - Unplugged
Courtesy J Records

Born:

January 25, 1981 - New York, New York.

Quote From Alicia Keys:

"I feel like B sides are always better, no matter whose record it is."

Growing Up:

Alicia Keys came into the world as Alicia Augello Cook. She grew up in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan. Her mother is Irish-Italian, and her father is Jamaican. Keys began playing the piano at age 7 and learned to play primarily through the works of classical composers. At the age of 14 she wrote her first song, "Butterflyz."

Education:

Alicia Keys attended the Professional Performing Arts School in Manhattan for her high school education. She graduated at the top of her class at the young age of 16. From there, she began attending Columbia University on a music scholarship. However, she soon left the university to pursue a musical career full time.

Trivia Fact About Alicia Keys:

The book Tears For Water, a collection of poems and song lyrics, was published by Alicia Keys in 2004.

Songs In A Minor:

After a contract bidding war, Alicia Keys was signed to Arista Records. When music business legend Clive Davis left Arista to start J Records, Keys went with him. She wrote, produced, and performed the album Songs In A Minor, released in 2001. The album was almost an instant success. It debuted at #1 on the Billboard album chart and included 2 top 10 hit singles, "Fallin'" and "A Woman's Worth."

Grammy Awards:

Alicia Keys' music was acclaimed by both fans and critics. Songs In A Minor eventually sold over 10 million copies. Keys performed music strongly influenced by classic r&b artists including Aretha Franklin, Curtis Mayfield and Marvin Gaye. At the 2002 Grammy Awards, few were surprised when Alicia Keys took home 5 awards including Song Of the Year for "Fallin'" and Best New Artist.

The Diary Of Alicia Keys:

The Diary Of Alicia Keys, the second album, was released in December 2003. Critics and fans alike once again hailed Keys' music. The singles "You Don't Know My Name" and "If I Ain't Got You" both reached the top 5 on the pop singles chart. The album brought Alicia Keys 3 more Grammy Awards in 2005 including Best R&B Album and Best R&B Song.

Into the Future:

One of the biggest hit singles of the year in 2004 was Alicia Keys' duet with Usher on "My Boo." They took home a 2005 Grammy Award for Best Recording by an R&B Duo or Group for the song which brought Keys total of Grammy Awards to 9 at the young age of 24.

In the summer of 2005 Alicia Keys convinced MTV to revive their Unplugged series of acoustic performances and recordings by top pop artists. The resulting Alicia Keys Unplugged album was released in October. It featured a few new songs including the single "Unbreakable." Keys also told reporters she was working on material for her third studio album.

That third studio album As I Am appeared in late 2007 and debuted at #1 on the charts. The first week sales, over 700,000 copies, were the highest ever for a female r&b artist. The album included the #1 hit single "No One." By early 2008 As I Am had sold over 3 million copies in the US.

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