Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys

Infobox Musical artist
Name = Alicia Keys

Img_capt = Alicia Keys performing at Pavilhão Atlântico in Lisbon, Portugal on March 19, 2008
Img_size =
Background = solo_singer
Birth_name = Alicia J. Augello-Cook
Alias = Lellow [cite web |url= |title=The Diary Of Alicia Keys [CD & DVD] [Limited] - Alicia Keys |accessdate=2008-02-14 |date=February 2, 2004 |work=Epinions]
Born = birth date and age|1981|1|25
Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States
Origin =
Instrument = Singing, piano/keyboards, cello
Voice_type = Dramatic contralto [ [ Alicia Keys bio.] ]
Occupation = Singer-songwriter, pianist, cellist, composer, arranger, record producer, actress, music video director, philanthropist, author
Years_active = 1997–present
Label = Columbia, J
URL = []

Alicia J. Augello-Cook (born January 25, 1981),cite web |url= |title=Biography - Alicia Keys |accessdate=2007-12-25 |work=Billboard |quote=Born: January, 25, 1981] cite web |url= |title=Sony BMG Artist Alicia Keys |accessdate=2007-12-05 |work=Sony BMG Germany |language=German |quote=Alicia Keys wurde am 25. Januar 1981] [cite web |url= |title=Alicia Keys, the girl who made Bob Dylan weep |accessdate=2008-02-24 |last=Iley |first=Chrissy |work=The Times |date=February 24, 2008 |quote=Keys was born in 1981.] professionally known as Alicia Keys, is an American R&B, soul, and neo soul singer-songwriter, pianist, cellist, and actress. Keys has sold over thirty million albums worldwide [ [] ] [Cite web|url=|title=Top Selling Artist|work=Recording Industry Association of America|accessdate=2008-07-29] and has won numerous awards, including eleven Grammy Awards, seventeen "Billboard" Music Awards, and three American Music Awards. Keys has a vocal range of a dramatic contralto, spanning three octaves. Keys cites Stevie Wonder as her biggest influence. [ [ Alicia Keys bio.] ] She is often called the "Princess of Soul". [See [] ] [See [] ]

Keys' debut album "Songs in A Minor" was a worldwide success, selling over eleven million copies,cite web |url= |title=Alicia Keys, Melissa Etheridge, Annie Lennox, Juanes, KT Tunstall, Earth, Wind & Fire and Junoon to celebrate peace through music at 2007 Nobel Peace Prize Concert December 11 in Norway |accessdate=2008-01-18 |last=Donovan |first=Dave |work=Nobel Peace Prize |date=October 19, 2007] and received five Grammy Awards in 2002, with Keys winning Best New Artist and also Song of the Year for "Fallin'". Her second studio album, "The Diary of Alicia Keys", was released in 2003 and quickly became another great success worldwide selling about nine million copies [cite web |url= |title=The Diary of Alicia Keys re-releases this fall |accessdate=2008-01-18 |last=Iwuagwu |first=Chibuzor |work=The Equinox |date=September 30, 2004] and garnered Keys four Grammy Awards in 2005. After the successful "Unplugged" release in 2005, Keys returned to the music scene with her third studio album, "As I Am", released in 2007, which has sold nearly six million copies [ [ J Records ] ] and established her as one of the best-selling artists of the decade.

On September 13, 2008 Keys has been inducted into the "All time Hot 100 Artist" by the Billboard Hot 100. She is one of the few artists of her generation to be mentioned. [See [] ]

Early life

Keys was born in a Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan, in New York City, New York, the daughter and only child of Teresa "Terri" Augello, a paralegal and part-time actress, and Craig Cook, a flight attendant. [cite web |url= |title=ALICIA KEYS: MUSIC'S HOTTEST NEW ACT - 10 THINGS YOU DIDN'T KNOW |accessdate=2007-12-10 |last=Catlin |first=Roger |work=The Cincinnati Post |date=February 7, 2002] Keys' mother is of Irish and Italian descent, and her father is Jamaican. Keys describes herself as comfortable with her biracial heritage: "I grew up in New York and, thank God, I never had to go through that in regards to, 'You're not black enough, you're not white enough,' the whole kind of white/black-mixture thing. I never had to go through that. I went through prejudices and all, surely. But I never had to battle with those two parts of me." [ [ Keys avoids mixed race abuse] ]

Keys' parents separated during her early childhood, and she was subsequently raised by her mother during her formative years in Hell's Kitchen, also in Manhattan. [cite web |url=,,1086231,00.html |title=Soul sister |accessdate=2007-01-06 |last=Ojumu |first=Akin |work=Guardian Unlimited |date=November 16, 2003] In 1985, Keys and a group of other girls played the parts of Rudy Huxtable's sleepover guests in an episode of "The Cosby Show" called "Slumber Party". ["Slumber Party". "The Cosby Show". March 28, 1985. No. 1, episode 22.] cref|a She began playing the piano when she was seven, learning classical music by composers such as Beethoven, Mozart, and her favorite, Chopin. [cite web |url= |title=Singer Alicia Keys Pours Heart into AIDS Fight in Africa |accessdate=2008-02-05 |last=Akassy |first=Hugues-Denver |work=Orbite Television] Keys almost chose Wilde as her stage name at age sixteen until her manager suggested the name Keys after a dream he had. Keys felt that name represented her both as a performer and person. [cite web |url= |title=Alicia Keys Nearly Spills Secrets To "Jane" |accessdate=2008-03-07 |last=Vineyard |first=Jennifer |work=MTV News |date=January 18, 2006]

Keys graduated from the Professional Performing Arts School, a prestigious high school in Manhattan, as valedictorian at the age of sixteen in only three years. Although accepted to Columbia University , [cite web|url=|title= The Next Queen of Soul|accessdate= 2008-05-18|date= 2001-11-08|work= Rolling Stone] she decided to drop out and pursue her musical career. Keys signed a demo deal with Jermaine Dupri and his So So Def label, then distributed by Columbia Records. She co-wrote and recorded a song entitled "Dah Dee Dah (Sexy Thing)", which appeared on the soundtrack to the 1997 blockbuster, "Men in Black". The song was Keys' first professional recording; however, it was never released as a single and her record contract with Columbia Records ended quickly. Keys later met Clive Davis, who signed her to Arista Records, which has since disbanded. Following Davis to his newly-formed J Records label, she recorded the songs "Rock wit U" and "Rear View Mirror", featured on the soundtracks to the films "Shaft" (2000) and "Dr. Dolittle 2" (2001) respectively. Keys then released her debut album, "Songs in A Minor".

Music career

"Songs in A Minor" (2001)

Selling over 235,000 copies in its first week (more than 50,000 of those on its first day), "Songs in A Minor", released on June 5, 2001, went on to sell over ten million units worldwide,cite web |url= |title=Alicia Keys, Melissa Etheridge, Annie Lennox, Juanes, KT Tunstall, Earth, Wind & Fire and Junoon to celebrate peace through music at 2007 Nobel Peace Prize Concert December 11 in Norway |accessdate=2008-01-18 |last=Donovan |first=Dave |work=Nobel Peace Prize |date=October 19, 2007] and established Keys' popularity both outside and inside the U.S., where she became the best-selling new artist of 2001 (as well as the best-selling R&B artist). The album's first single, "Fallin'", gained radio airplay on many different radio formats and spent six weeks at number one on the U.S. "Billboard" Hot 100. Keys performed Donny Hathaway's 1973 song "Someday We'll All Be Free" at the "" televised benefit concert following the September 11, 2001 attacks. Another single from "Songs in A Minor", "A Woman's Worth", made the top ten in the U.S. as well. The album led Keys to win five Grammy Awards in 2002: 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 thus became only the second female solo artist to win five Grammy Awards in a single night (following Lauryn Hill in 1999). [cite web |url= |title=Yes, America, Amy Winehouse Is a Star |accessdate=2008-02-13 |work=BBC America |date=February 11, 2008] On October 22, 2002, "Songs in A Minor" was reissued as "Remixed & Unplugged in A Minor", including eight remixes and seven unplugged versions of some of the songs from the original.

Critical reviews of the album were mostly positive. [See reviews in Songs in A Minor.] Keys' work had a sound similar to 1970s soul singers such as Curtis Mayfield, Marvin Gaye, and Stevie Wonder along with hip hop influences like those apparent in neo soul artists such as Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu, and D'Angelo.

By that time, Keys wrote, produced, played the piano, and sang background for Christina Aguilera's song "Impossible", from the latter's 2002 album "Stripped".

"The Diary of Alicia Keys" (2003)

Keys followed up her debut with "The Diary of Alicia Keys", released on December 2, 2003. The album was hailed by critics, and debuted at number one in the U.S., selling over 618,000 copies its first week of release, becoming the sixth biggest-selling album by a female artist and the second biggest-selling album by a female R&B artist. To date, it has sold nine million copies worldwide. [cite web |url= |title=The Diary of Alicia Keys re-releases this fall |accessdate=2008-01-18 |last=Iwuagwu |first=Chibuzor |work=The Equinox |date=September 30, 2004]

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 another single, "Diary", entered the top ten. The classical/hip hop-flavored "Karma" was less successful, peaking at number twenty on the "Billboard" Hot 100 but more successful on the Top 40 Mainstream peaking at number three. "If I Ain't Got You" became the first single by a female artist to remain on the sixty-three-year-old "Billboard" Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart for more than one year, surpassing Mary J. Blige's "Your Child", which had remained on the chart for forty-nine weeks. Keys went on to become the best-selling female R&B artist of 2004.

At the 2004 MTV Video Music Awards, Keys won "Best R&B Video" for "If I Ain't Got You", and also led Lenny Kravitz and Stevie Wonder in their version of Wonder's "Higher Ground". In 2005, Keys won her second consecutive award for Best R&B Video, this time for the video for "Karma".

At the 2005 Grammy Awards, Keys performed the album's second single, "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. 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. She was also nominated for Album of the Year for "The Diary of Alicia Keys", Song of the Year for "If I Ain't Got You", Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for "Diary" (featuring Tony! Toni! Toné!), and Best R&B Song for "My Boo".

"Unplugged" (2005)

Keys performed and taped her installment of the "MTV Unplugged" series on July 14, 2005 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. [cite web |url= |title=Keys Plugs In at No. 1 |accessdate=2006-12-07 |last=Jenison |first=David |work=Yahoo! Music |date=October 19, 2005] During this live session, Keys added brand-new arrangements to her original songs such as "A Woman's Worth" and the funk-driven "Heartburn", and performed a few choice covers. Part of Keys' audience also included her guest performers; she collaborated with rappers Common and Mos Def on "Love It or Leave It Alone", reggae artist Damian Marley on "Welcome to Jamrock", and Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine on a cover of The Rolling Stones' 1971 "Wild Horses". In addition to this, she had a cover of "Every Little Bit Hurts", previously recorded by singers such as Aretha Franklin and Brenda Holloway, Keys also premiered two new original songs: "Stolen Moments", which she co-wrote with producer Paul L. Green, and "Unbreakable", the album's lead single, which peaked at number four and number thirty-four on the "Billboard" Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and the Hot 100 respectively. It was more successful on the "Billboard" Hot Adult R&B Airplay, where it stayed at number one for eleven weeks in late 2005. [cite web |url= |title=Hot Adult R&B Airplay |accessdate=2007-09-07 |work=Billboard] The session was released on CD and DVD on October 11, 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. So far the album has sold one million copies in the United Statescite web |url= |title=Keys Craves 'Strange As Hell' Collaborations |accessdate=2006-12-04 |last=Hope |first=Clover |work=Billboard |date=January 24, 2006] and two million copies worldwide. The debut of Keys' "Unplugged" was the highest debut 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 received four nominations at the 2006 Grammy Awards: Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for "Unbreakable", Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance for "If I Was Your Woman", Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for her rendition of Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell's classic "If This World Were Mine" with Jermaine Paul, Best R&B Song for "Unbreakable", and Best R&B Album. It also won three NAACP Image Awards that same year: Outstanding Female Artist, Outstanding Song for "Unbreakable", and Outstanding Music Video for "Unbreakable". [cite web |url= |title=Image Awards Honor Foxx, Keys, Carey |accessdate=2006-12-04 |work=Billboard |date=February 26, 2006]

"As I Am" (2007)

Since late 2006, Keys worked on her third studio album, "As I Am"—whose title was confirmed in a red-carpet interview at the 2007 BET Awards on June 26 [cite web |url= |title=Grand night for divas at BET Awards |accessdate=2007-06-30 |last=Keck |first=William |work=USA Today |date=June 27, 2007] —, released on November 13, 2007. Keys talked to MTV in early 2007 about the album: "It's coming together incredibly. I am in love with this album. It's very fresh and new". [cite web |url= |title=Alicia Keys Kills — Literally — In Film Debut, 'Smokin' Aces' |accessdate=2007-02-01 |last=Carroll |first=Larry |work=MTV Movie News |date=January 2, 2007] "Rolling Stone" magazine reported in December 2005 that Keys and her long-term songwriting partner Kerry "Krucial" Brothers would start working seriously on the album in the later half of 2006.cite web |url= |title=Alicia Collaborator Krucial Goes Solo |accessdate=2006-12-07 |last=Leroy |first=Dan |work=Rolling Stone |date=December 7, 2005] "As I Am" debuted at number one on the "Billboard" 200 with first-week sales of 742,000 copies, gaining Keys the second largest sales week of 2007 and the largest sales week for a female solo artist since Norah Jones' 2004 album "Feels Like Home", and also set a record as Keys' largest sales week of her career. "As I Am" became Keys 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. In addition, the album also debuted at number one on the United World Chart selling 876,000. Since then, "As I Am" has sold over one million copies in two weeks of its debut, selling 359,000 copies in the second week. The lead single "No One" debuted at number seventy-one on the "Billboard" Hot 100, and has since peaked at number one, becoming Keys' third number one on the chart, and was also her fifth number one on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. Furthermore, the song earned Keys the awards for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song at the 2008 Grammy Awards on February 10. Keys opened the ceremony singing Frank Sinatra's 1950s song "Learnin' the Blues" as a "duet" with archival footage of Sinatra in video. Later on, she performed "No One" with John Mayer. The album's second single, "Like You'll Never See Me Again", released in late 2007, reached the top fifteen of the "Billboard" Hot 100, and secured another R&B chart-topper for Keys. The album's third single was "Teenage Love Affair", which peaked at number three on the R&B chart after having debuted at number sixty. Keys performed the song at the BET Awards '08 on June 24, where she also performed '90s female R&B hits with their original performers: "Weak" with SWV, "Hold On" with En Vogue, and "Waterfalls" with TLC, SWV, and En Vogue. Keys also won Best Female R&B Artist during the show. [cite web |url= | title=Kanye West, UGK Win Big At BET Awards, But Ne-Yo, Alicia Keys, Lil Wayne Performances Steal The Show |date=2008-06-25 |work=MTV |accessdate=2008-06-24]

Keys has confirmed that "Superwoman" will be the 4th and final single from the album "As I Am". [cite web |url= |title=Alicia Mulls Next Album, New Single |date=2008-04-28 |work=Billboard |accessdate=2008-05-20]

Keys has opened a new recording studio in Long Island, New York called The Oven Studios, which she co-owns with her production and songwriting partner Kerry "Krucial" Brothers. [cite web |url= |title=Alicia Keys Opens Recording Studio in New York |accessdate=2006-12-07 |last=Weiss |first=David |work=Mix |date=October 1, 2005] 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 [ KrucialKeys Enterprises] , a production and songwriting team who assisted Keys in creating her award-winning albums as well as create music for other artists.

Alicia Keys and the White Stripes' Jack White have recorded the theme song to "Quantum of Solace", the 22nd James Bond film, which hits U.S. theaters Nov. 14. The song, "Another Way to Die", will be the first duet in Bond soundtrack history. White wrote and produced the song, he also plays drums and guitar, while keys also plays piano. The pair filmed a video for the song in Toronto on September 6, 2008 , whilst Keys was at the Toronto International Film Festival promoting her new film "The Secret Life of Bees" while White was there with "It Might Get Loud," a documentary on the electric guitar [] . The song received its worldwide radio premiere on September 18, 2008 [] . Initial reviews of the song have been mixed, some critics anticipate that the song could grow in popularity the more it is played on radio and performed live by the musicians. The soundtrack to the movie will be released Oct. 28. The score for the film will be composed by David Arnold. Amy Winehouse and Leona Lewis had previously been rumored as the vocalists for the latest Bond theme [] . Keys and Jack White have been lined up to appear on a special Bond-themed X Factor live show in October 2008. The pair have agreed to give a performance of their duet 'Another Way to Die' [] . The music of the their duet is to feature in a Coca Cola advertisement. [] []

Keys also is preparing to record a theme song for Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama. Keys who joins Joss Stone and Jay-Z on the effort, was approached by the presidential nominee according to The Sun to record a track that will serve as a theme song for his campaign. [] [] .

Film and television career


Keys was first seen on the television screen on the Cosby Show in 1985. She was on the "Slumber Party" episode, which originally aired on March 28, 1985. She played the part of Maria, one of Rudy's (Keshia Knight Pulliam) friends. She is listed in the credits as Alicia Cook.

During the early 2000s, Keys made small cameos in such television series as "Charmed" and "American Dreams". In early 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 the song "Almost Everything Is Boinga Here". Keys guest starred as herself in the "One Man Is an Island" episode of the drama series "Cane", first aired on November 6, 2007.

Keys starred in "Fresh Takes," a micro-series created by "Dove go fresh", aimed at giving women a fresh take on life in their twenties. The series, premiered during "The Hills" on MTV in March to April 2008. The series followed three girlfriends as they embark on their adult lives juggling the pressures of being a 20-something woman – career, relationship, beauty, family and friends – all intensified by their own critical inner voice. Amidst these pressures, friendship, humor and honesty help them realize a wider definition of success and ultimately feel beautiful. This premiere celebrated the launch of new Dove go fresh – a fragrance-driven product collection.


Keys made her big-screen debut in early 2007 in the crime film "Smokin' Aces", co-starring as an assassin named Georgia Sykes opposite Ben Affleck, Ray Liotta, Common, Andy Garcia, Taraji P. Henson, Jeremy Piven and Ryan Reynolds. Keys received much praise from her co-stars in the film; Reynolds said that Keys had "natural" acting ability as he was surprised she had not starred in films before. [cite web |url= |title=Interview : Alicia Keys |accessdate=2007-03-08 | |date=December 28, 2006]

Keys earned further praise for her second film outing, "The Nanny Diaries"—based on the 2002 novel of the same name by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus—, released on August 24, 2007, in which she co-stars alongside Scarlett Johansson and Chris Evans as Lynette, Johansson's character Annie's best friend. Brooklyn's Kingsborough Community College was used to film the college graduation scene for the film. [cite web |url= |title=Alicia Keys Works Her Hollywood Mojo, Joins Johansson In 'Nanny Diaries' |accessdate=2006-12-07 |last=Carroll |first=Larry |work=MTV Movie News |date=April 13, 2006]

Keys and her long-term manager Jeff Robinson have signed a first-look film production deal to develop live-action and animated projects with Disney, Variety reports. Their first film, a remake of the 1958 comedy "Bell, Book and Candle", will star Keys as a witch who casts a love spell to lure a rival's fiancé. [cite web |url= |title=For The Record: Quick News On Justin Timberlake, Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, 'Snakes On A Plane' & More |accessdate=2006-12-09 |author=MTV News staff report |work=MTV News |date=July 14, 2006] Keys and Robinson have also formed a television production company called Big Pita. [cite web |url= |title=Alicia Keys forms production company |accessdate=2006-12-09 |last=Elber |first=Lynn |work=The Seattle Times |date=January 18, 2006] Their first project will be a CW Network TV series inspired by Keys' experiences as a biracial child growing up in New York, similar to the network's "Everybody Hates Chris".cite web |url= |title=Alicia Keys' Early Years To Be Made Into A TV Series |accessdate=2006-12-09 |last=Vineyard |first=Jennifer |work=MTV News |date=January 12, 2006] Keys has been tapped to executively produce an upcoming TV drama. The title and airing date are presently unconfirmed. [cite web |url= |title=Keys, Simmons Bringing Projects To TV |accessdate=2006-12-09 |author=Andreeva, Nellie and Speight, Kimberly |work=Billboard |date=January 12, 2006] Keys and Robinson said they will develop live-action and animated projects at their company, Big Pita, Little Pita, with Keys participating as producer, thesp, banner spearheading soundtrack, and music supervision.

Keys has signed to star in a film adaptation of Sue Monk Kidd's acclaimed 2003 bestseller "The Secret Life of Bees" alongside Jennifer Hudson and Queen Latifah, expected to be released on October 17, 2008 via Fox Searchlight. Gina Prince-Bythewood directed the film. [cite web |url= |title=Dakota Fanning and Alicia Keys drawn to "Bees" |accessdate=2007-12-29 |last=Zeitchik |first=Steven |work=Reuters |date=December 20, 2007] [cite web |url= |title=Alicia Keys In Talks To Join Queen Latifah & Jennifer Hudson In Upcoming Movie |accessdate=2007-12-29 |last=Bolden |first=Janeé |work=SOHH Soulful |date=December 21, 2007] [cite web |url= |title=HOLLYWOOD BRIEFS: Dakota Fanning, Alicia Keys as beekeepers |accessdate=2007-12-29 |author=DPA | |date=December 26, 2007]

Keys will also play 1940s biracial piano child prodigy Philippa Schuyler in an upcoming film entitled "Composition in Black and White". [cite web |url= |title=Alicia Keys To Play Biracial Piano Prodigy In First Movie |accessdate=2006-12-07 |last=Vineyard |first=Jennifer |work=MTV Movie News |date=May 14, 2004] It is based on the 1995 biographical book of the same name by Kathryn Talalay and follows the story of Philippa Schuyler. "The challenge, in order to actually be able to play classical piano as a woman of mixed race, was by far more than I could ever imagine", Keys said. "That's what intrigued me about that role". The biopic will tell the difficult tale of Schuyler's controversial career, love-hate relationship with her mother, and the black community, her second career as a writer, and her eventual death in a helicopter accident. "Her story is very deep, even up to the point where the relationship between her and her mother gets very strained and she chooses to go to Europe and pass as a Spanish woman in order to be able to play, in order to be able to live a more normal life", Keys said, adding that she and Halle Berry hoped to start shooting in early 2008. "As of right now, we're still in the first, second draft of the script", she said. "So a little bit of time—at least a year".


Besides being a musician, Keys is also a philanthropist. She is the Global Ambassador for [ Keep a Child Alive] , a non-profit organization that provides life-saving AIDS medicines directly to children and families with HIV/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 2006. Keys and Bono's version of the song was retitled "Don't Give Up (Africa)" to show the two musicians' support for helping to raise awareness of people living with HIV and AIDS and acknowledging the twenty-five million Africans (forty million people worldwide) living with the disease.

Keys has visited African countries such as Uganda, Kenya, and South Africa [cite web |url= |title=Alicia Keys and 'Keep a Child Alive' Visit AHF's Ithembalabantu Clinic, Free AIDS Clinic in Durban, South Africa Run by AIDS Healthcare Foundation |accessdate=2006-12-04 |work=PRNewswire |date=April 18, 2006] [cite web |url= |title=Alicia Keys in Kenya for HIV Project |accessdate=2006-12-04 |work=CBS News |date=April 6, 2006] to promote care for children affected by AIDS. Keys, the global ambassador and co-founder of Keep a Child Alive, jet in on a four-day working visit in Masaka, Uganda on April 10, 2006 to bolster the HIV/AIDS crusade and give a ray of hope to families and children devastated by the scourge. [cite web |url= |title=Alicia Keys and 'Keep a Child Alive' to Visit AHF's Masaka Healthcare Center, Free AIDS Clinic Run by AIDS Healthcare Foundation/Uganda CARES |accessdate=2007-07-13 |work=AIDS Healthcare Foundation |date=April 10, 2006] Keys visited sites funded by the organization "and brought footage home to the American public to encourage them to do more to help", according to a KACA statement. Throughout her visit, a film crew followed and documented the progress at both of these facilities for American news outlets.

Keys is also a spokeswoman for [ Frum tha Ground Up] , a charity devoted to inspiring, encouraging, and motivating American youths to achieve success on all levels. Keys also participated in other humanitarian efforts in 2005 by performing at several exclusive concerts and television shows. On July 2, Keys performed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as part of the worldwide Live 8 concerts. The mission of the concerts was to raise awareness of the on-going poverty in Africa and to pressure the G8 leaders to take action by doubling aid, canceling debt, and delivering trade justice for Africa. In August 2005, Keys performed on "", a benefit program shown on music video channels to raise money for those affected by Hurricane Katrina. The following month, Keys performed at , another Hurricane Katrina benefit concert.

Keys is an honorary member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.

On July 7, 2007, Keys and Keith Urban performed The Rolling Stones' 1969 hit "Gimme Shelter" at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey at the American leg of the Live Earth concerts.

Keys participated at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert which took place at the Oslo Spektrum in Oslo, Norway, on December 11, 2007, together with a variety of artists. The concert was broadcast to over one hundred countries. [cite web |url= |title=Nobel Peace Prize Concert 2007 |accessdate=2007-12-11 |]

Her work in Africa is documented in the documentary "Alicia in Africa" released on July 4, 2008. [cite web |url= |title=Alicia Keys...New Superwoman Clip |accessdate=2008-06-20 |]


*Keys is a spokesperson for Dove's Go Fresh product and starred in a five-episode microseries which was transmitted on Monday during the MTV "The Hills" commercial breaks. [ [ Alicia Keys And Dove® Give Women A Fresh Take On Life In Their Twenties - With Video ] ]
*Keys recently signed a deal as spokesperson with Glacéau's VitaminWater that is worth more than $50 million. [ [ BAAALLIN!! Alicia Keys Signs A $50M Deal With Vitamin Water!!!] ]
*Keys did a commercial for American Express.


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 "Tupac and Biggie were essentially assassinated, their beefs stoked by the government and the media, to stop another great black leader from existing." [ [ Alicia Keys: Unlocked] ] Keys wrote a statement clarifying the issues and saying her words were misinterpreted. [ [,353288.shtml Alicia Keys Statement Regarding Blender Magazine] ]

On July 28, 2008, 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 a concert was sponsored by the firm and asked for "corrective actions". As a result, the company withdrew their sponsorship. [ [ Keys 'sorry' for tobacco adverts] "BBC News". July 28, 2008.]

Mentions in popular culture

*Keys was first referenced in B2K's song Girlfriend.

Get out the Benz and them I'm off up in the JeepTake ya fix with chicks that look like Alicia Keys

*Keys was referenced in Missy Elliott's song "Hurt Sumthin", from the Honey Soundtrack Album. In the first verse of the song Missy Elliott say's: Fact|date=July 2008

Check out my pants, The sexy way I dance,
Then switch my style again cos the method's borin'
Make me a bill, a million dollar bill, I'm on top with you like Alicia fallin'

*Keys was referenced in Bob Dylan's song "Thunder on the Mountain", from his 2006 album "Modern Times". The second verse of the song has the following lines:

I was thinkin' 'bout Alicia Keys, couldn't keep from crying
When she was born in Hell's Kitchen, I was living down the line
I'm wondering where in the world Alicia Keys could be
I been looking for her even clear through Tennessee

*Keys was also referenced in "Think About You" by Luther Vandross from his album Dance with My Father. In this song, Vandross says: Fact|date=July 2008

Bought a pillow for my room (I thought about you)
Heard Alicia sing a tune (I thought about you)
It sends my rocket to the moon
Every time I think about you

*Kanye West mentioned Alicia in his remix of "Throw Some D's" by Rich Boy. In his second verse, West says:

I dont need no hands to know Lindsey Lohan
On the same program as Britney, is you wit' me?
That's why I respect Alicia Keys, She say fuck gettin' them D's
I'ma just ride wit' these

*Keys was referenced in Canadian singer "Keshia Chante"'s song "Little Things" from both her self titled debut album and sophomore album "2U". It says" Fact|date=July 2008

I head downs stairs, the first thing I see
Is a note there waiting saying
"There's a concert tonight, thought you'd wanna go
I hear that Alicia's got a real good show"

*In addition, underground rapper Canibus mentioned Alicia Keys in the song "Poet Laureate II", saying:

You wonder why I never let you play your beats for me?
Or why I keep my studio shrouded in secrecy?
You wonder what's my infatuation with Alicia Keys?
"Canibus, why won't you speak to me?"

*Keys was mentioned on the Girlfriend Remix by Nelly saying:

I need a Fiancé cute as Beyonce
Ghetto like the Brat, ready to scrap when I say
The talents of Alicia, my fault Ms. Keys
Take the hips of Trina and lips of Eve

*In "The Office" episode "Drug Testing", Michael Scott worries whether a clove cigarette he smoked at an Alicia Keys concert will affect a drug test.







Tears for Water: Songbook of Poems and Lyrics

Alicia Keys released her novel, Tears for Water: songbook of Poems & Lyrics, in 2004. Keys stated, “All my life, I’ve written these words with no thought or intention of sharing them. Not even with my confidants.” This novel consists of her innermost thoughts about everything; life, observations, emotions, her past, modern society, etc. “Some of them are painful; some of them are just observations, some silly, some that have affected me so deeply and with such frustration that they only way to express the confusion was to write it down.” Tears for Water is filled with a wide variety of poems, with various categories and topics, for instance, there are poems on war, prostitution, strippers, landscapes in Spain, democracy and politics, and more. She says she calls this novel Tears for Water because, "…everything I have ever written has stemmed from my tears of joy, or pain, of sorrow, of depression, even of question." Keys has a common style of writing throughout all of poems which permits the reader to relate to her poems without struggle. All of her poetry lacks a form of alliteration and assonance, the effect created when words with the same initial letter, either constants or vowels, are used in close proximity. Also, she uses a free verse structure, the lack of a formal meter or rhyme pattern and instead relies upon natural rhythms of her everyday speech. In certain poems, a form of dissonance is used, the deliberate use of inharmonious syllables, words, or phrases in order to create a harsh-toned effect. Along with the poems in this novel, she includes the lyrics to her first albums Songs in A minor and The Diary of Alicia Keys, and a few excerpts explaining the meaning behind some of her poems and why they were written.



* 2001: American Tour
* 2001/2002: European Tour
* 2004: Asian/Australian Tour
* 2004: "Verizon Ladies First Tour" (with Beyoncé and Missy Elliott)
* 2004: European Tour
* 2005: "The Diary Tour" (U.S.)
* 2008: "As I Am Tour" (Europe, North America, Asia and Oceania.)




External links

* [ Official website]

###@@@KEY@@@### s-ach|awsuccession box
title = Grammy Award for Best New Artist
years = 2002
before= Shelby Lynne
after = Norah Jones
succession box
title = Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance
years = 2003
for "Fallin'"
before= Toni Braxton
for "He Wasn't Man Enough"
after = Mary J. Blige
for "He Thinks I Don't Know"
succession box
title = Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance
years = 2005
for "If I Ain't Got You"
before= Beyoncé
for "Dangerously In Love 2"
after = Mariah Carey
for "We Belong Together"
succession box
title = Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance
years = 2008
for "No One"
before= Mary J. Blige
for "Be Without You"
after = Incumbent

NAME = Keys, Alicia
ALTERNATIVE NAMES = Augello-Cook, Alicia J.
SHORT DESCRIPTION = American singer-songwriter, pianist, and actress
DATE OF BIRTH = January 25, 1980
PLACE OF BIRTH = New York City, New York, United States

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