Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys, R&B Singer , NYC

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Alicia Keys

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Alicia Keys (born Alicia J. Augello-Cook on January 25, 1980) is an American R&B and soul singer, songwriter, pianist, record producer, actress, philanthropist, and author who has won numerous awards, including nine Grammy Awards, eleven Billboard Music Awards, and three American Music Awards.


Selling over 235,000 copies in its first week (more than 50,000 of those in its first day), Songs in A Minor, released on June 5, 2001, went on to sell more than eleven million units worldwide, 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 "Someday We'll All Be Free" at the America: A Tribute to Heroes 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. Keys and the album won five Grammy Awards in 2002, including "Best New Artist" and "Song of the Year" for "Fallin'". "Butterflyz" was not a single but is notable as being the first song Keys ever wrote, at age fourteen. Later, on October 22, 2002, Keys released Remixed & Unplugged in A Minor, a re-issue of Songs in A Minor, which includes eight remixes and seven unplugged versions of some of the songs off her debut album.

Critical reviews of the album were mostly positive. 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, and sang background for Christina Aguilera's song "Impossible", from the latter's 2002 album Stripped.

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, the sixth highest album sales by a female and second by R&B female. To date, it has sold eight million copies worldwide. 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 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" (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". Also the following year in 2005, she won "Best R&B Video" in her second year in a row for "Karma". At the 2005 Grammy Awards, she 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. That evening, she won four Grammy Awards: "Best R&B Album" for The Diary of Alicia Keys, "Best Female R&B Vocal Performance" for "If I Ain't Got You", "Best R&B Song" for "You Don't Know My Name", 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".

Since late 2006, Keys has been working on her third studio album, As I Am-as confirmed in a red-carpet interview at the 2007 BET Awards on June 26-, which is due out on November 6, 2007. Keys has talked to MTV about her upcoming album: "It's coming together incredibly. I am in love with this album. It's very fresh and new". The album is said to feature John Mayer on two songs-"Lesson Learned" and "Heavy Times". John Legend, Linda Perry, Timbaland, and Marsha Ambrosius of Floetry will also collaborate with Keys. Song titles revealed so far have been "Superwoman", "Savior", "Reckless", "Like You'll Never See Me Again", "Sweet Tooth", and "That's the Thing About Love". Rolling Stone magazine reported in December 2005 that Keys and her long-term songwriting partner Kerry "Krucial" Brothers would start working seriously on Keys' third studio album in the later half of 2006. Keys has explained that her new upcoming album has an edgier feel than her first two albums and she is keen to do strange and unexpected collaborations outside the R&B and hip hop worlds. Keys also plans to collobarate with Drew Lane, Eddie Galan, and Stargate on the album.

Keys sang the outro to John Mayer's song "Gravity" on his album Continuum and in a surprise appearance with him at his sold-out show at Madison Square Garden on February 28, 2007.

Keys has opened a new recording studio in Long Island, New York called The Oven Studios, which she co-owns with her co-production and co-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 Kerry Brothers are 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

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