Alicia Augello Cook popularly known by her stage name as Alicia Keys is a famous American singer, actress, songwriter, recording artist, vocalist, music producer and a philanthropist. She was born on 25th January 1981 in Hell’s Kitchen, New York City, New York in the United States of America. She is currently 37 years old.
She is a classically-trained pianist. Alicia Keys started composing songs at the age of 12 years old and was signed to Columbia Records at the age of 15 years old. She is the only child of Teresa Augello, a paralegal and part-time actress, and also one of the three children of Craig Cook, a Flight Attendant. Her father is an African American while her mother is of Scottish and Irish descent.
Her father left the family when she was 2 years old and she was subsequently raised by her single mother during her formative years in Hell’s Kitchen, New York in the United States of America. In 2010, she got married to Swizz Beatz and the marriage is currently blessed with two lovely kids namely Egypt Daoud Dean and Genesis Ali Dean. Aside from singing, Alicia Keys is also an actress and has acted in several Hollywood movies which include Smokin Aces, The Secret Life of Bees, The Nanny Diaries, We Are Together, Muscle Shoals, Five, The Best of Neo Soul, amongst others.
Alicia Keys after some few disputes with her record label “Columbia Records” was later signed to Arista Records and later released her first debut studio album “Songs in a Mirror” in 2001 and under J Records. She has won a Grammy Awards for Best New Artist. Her first debut studio album “Songs in a Minor” was a critically and commercially success and produced her first Billboard Hot 100 number one best single “Fallin”. The album “Songs in a Minor” has sold over 12 million copies worldwide. In 2002, the album “Songs in a Minor” earned her five Grammy Awards.
Her second debut studio album “The Diary of Alicia Keys” was released in 2003. The album was also a critical and commercial success, spawning successful singles like “You Don’t Know My Name”, “If I Ain’t Got You”, and “Diary”, amongst others and selling over eight million copies worldwide.
Her second debut studio album has garnered her additional four Grammy Awards. Her collaborated song “My Boo” which she collaborated with Usher became her second number-one best trending single in 2004. In 2005, Alicia Keys released her first live album “Unplugged” and became the first female artist to have an MTV Unplugged album debut at number one.
Her third debut studio album “As I Am” was released in 2007. The album produced hit single like “No One” which topped higher at the Billboard Hot 100. Her third debut studio album has sold over 5 million copies worldwide and earning her an additional three Grammy Awards.
In 2007, Alicia Keys made her film debut in the action-thriller film “Smokin Aces”. Her fourth debut studio album “The Element of Freedom” was released in 2009, and became her first chart-topping album in the United Kingdom, and has sold over 4 million copies worldwide.
In 2009, Alicia Keys also collaborated with Jay Z and released the hit single “Empire State of Mind” which later became her fourth number-one most trending hit single. The song also won her a Grammy Award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. In 2012, she released her fifth debut studio album “Girl on Fire”. The album topped higher on Billboard 200. The album also won her a Grammy Award for Best R&B Album.
In 2016, she released her sixth debut studio album “Here”. The album later became her seventh US R&B/Hip-Hop chart topping album. Alicia Keys has received numerous accolades throughout her music career, including 15 competitive Grammy Awards, 17 NAACP Image Awards, 12 ASCAP Awards and an award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame and National Music Publishers Association.
Alicia Keys has sold over 65 million records worldwide and has been considered as a musical icon. She was named by Billboard as the top R&B artist of the 200s decade and placed number 10 on their list of Top 50 R&B/Hip-Hop Artists of the Past 25 Years.
VH1 also included her name in their list of 100 Greatest Artists of All Time and 100 Greatest Women in Music lists. Time Magazine also listed her named in their lists of 100 List of Most Influential People in 2005 and 2017 respectively.