Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys

By mixing R&B with a sultry dose of neo-soul, Alicia Keys became an international star in 2001 with the release of her debut album. Songs in A Minor sold more than 50,000 copies during its first day of availability and eventually moved over ten million units worldwide, thus setting the stage for the 20-year-old's long career. Although she shared the charts with R&B contemporaries like Destiny's Child, Keys' talent distinguished her as a different sort of diva, one who played a variety of instruments and penned the majority of her songs without outside help. The Diary of Alicia Keys cemented ...

Alicia Keys Music Videos

Empire State Of Mind [Jay-Z + Alicia Keys] (Video)

Girl On Fire

As I Am

Alicia Keys Shows and Performances

An exclusive interview with Alicia Keys for MTV BUZZ

Alicia Keys News

Updated November 11, 2014
The winners have been chosen, the pelvises have been thrust, and all of the performers have left the stage; it looks ...
Alicia Keys is pregnant with her second child, and Swizz Beatz is excited to welcome a new member to the family. ...
"The Amazing Spider-Man 2" is about a month away from hitting theaters, but it's already shaping up to be quite the ...
Alicia Keys is nursing a broken heart on her new single "Tears Always Win." And there's probably no better place to try ...
When you're Alicia Keys, hooking up with one of the most acclaimed singer/songwriters of the day is as easy as picking ...
Alicia Keys has finally delivered the music video for her empowering new single "Girl On Fire," which the Grammy winner ...
I'll admit, speculating over the soundtrack for a movie that began production less than two weeks ago seems premature. ...
Los Angeles — Some fires just can't be extinguished. The temperature outside of L.A.'s Staples Center hovered around ...
Alicia Keys is bringing some real heat this week. In just a few days, AK will hit the MTV 2012 Video Music Awards stage ...
LOS ANGELES — The contrast between last year's Video Music Awards set and the one for Friday morning's broadcast ...
The Video Music Awards stage has given fans some of the most mind blowing performances of all time, and with Rihanna, ...
Alicia Keys has been here before. Four times, to be exact. Unlike newbies such as One Direction, Keys is one of the ...
Next week's 2012 MTV Video Music Awards just got huge. Like, Rihanna and Frank Ocean huge. Joining a performer ...
Alicia Keys has added some extra excitement to the already eager anticipation for her new album by enthusiastically ...
Now that we are less than a month away from the 2012 Video Music Awards, it's time to expect a flurry of VMA-related ...
Alicia Keys' fans are counting down the days until the singer takes the 2012 Video Music Awards stage to debut a ...
Alicia Keys is set to celebrate the biggest night in music at the 2012 Video Music Awards when she performs for her ...
It's all about timing. Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz got it right eventually, but if it was up to the multiplatinum ...
Could Adele be the next Bond girl? Not, like, in the movie, but on the soundtrack at least? The singer said in a ...
The whole world went to church on Saturday (February 18) to say goodbye to one of the greatest singers of all time. ...

Full Biography

By mixing R&B with a sultry dose of neo-soul, Alicia Keys became an international star in 2001 with the release of her debut album. Songs in A Minor sold more than 50,000 copies during its first day of availability and eventually moved over ten million units worldwide, thus setting the stage for the 20-year-old's long career. Although she shared the charts with R&B contemporaries like Destiny's Child, Keys' talent distinguished her as a different sort of diva, one who played a variety of instruments and penned the majority of her songs without outside help. The Diary of Alicia Keys cemented her popularity two years later, and Alicia Keys spent the rest of the decade refining her now-signature sound.



Alicia Augello Cook was born in Harlem in early 1981. Raised by her Italian-American mother, she enrolled in classical piano lessons at the age of seven and began writing songs four years later. An education at the Professional Performance Arts School helped develop her vocal skills, and Alicia graduated at the age of 16 as the class valedictorian. Two Columbias loomed on the immediate horizon: Columbia University and Columbia Records, both of whom had extended offers to the talented student/musician. Although she attempted to make both options work, Alicia found it difficult to juggle the two commitments and chose to focus exclusively on her music career. Assuming the stage name of Alicia Keys, she began working with Columbia and contributed a song to the Men in Black soundtrack, but disputes with the label resulted in her contract's termination.



Keys bounced back by aligning herself with Clive Davis, the president of Arista Records, but work on her debut album stalled when Davis was ousted from the company in 2000. Davis soon formed his own label, J Records, and welcomed Keys back into the fold with an aggressive publicity campaign (including an influential appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show). Songs in A Minor was then released in June 2001 and debuted at the top of the charts, eventually netting five Grammys and rising to platinum status in ten different countries. Released in 2003, The Diary of Alicia Keys enjoyed similar Grammy-certified success, and Keys released a book of poetry the following year.



A live CD/DVD package, Unplugged, arrived in 2005 and followed Keys' two previous releases to the top of the charts, even if it failed to win any of the four Grammys for which it was nominated. She then entered the acting world, starring in both Smokin' Aces and The Nanny Diaries in 2007, before issuing the pop-influenced As I Am later that year. It became her fourth consecutive number one album, and she was nominated for another handful of Grammys as a result, with "Superwoman" winning the award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance in early 2009. As the year drew to a close, Keys returned to the top of the Billboard charts with "Empire State of Mind," a Jay-Z single that featured her vocals, and released her fourth studio album, The Element of Freedom. Although it went platinum, The Element of Freedom didn't reach number one in the U.S., becoming her first album to miss the top slot. It did reach number one in the U.K., though, marking Keys' first chart-topping album in Europe and highlighting her status as a global artist.



During the next two years, Keys married producer Swizz Beatz, gave birth to a son, collaborated with Eve on the single "Speechless," appeared somewhere in Kanye West's "All of the Lights," and went on a brief tour in celebration of her debut album's tenth anniversary. She wrote and, with her husband, co-produced "Angel" for Jennifer Hudson's I Remember Me. In 2012, she assisted Emeli Sandé (Our Version of Events) and Miguel (Kaleidoscope Dream) prior to releasing Girl on Fire, her fifth studio album. It was issued on RCA -- in the wake of J Records' dissolution -- that November and featured collaborations with her husband, as well as Sandé, Salaam Remi, Jeff Bhasker, Frank Ocean, and John Legend.