33 Awesome And Interesting Facts About Alicia Keys

Alicia Augello Cook, known professionally as Alicia Keys, is an American musician, singer, songwriter, and record producer. A classically-trained pianist, Keys was composing songs by age 12 and was signed at 15 years old by Columbia Records. Take a look below for 33 more awesome and interesting facts about Alicia Keys.

1. After disputes with Columbia Records, she signed with Arista Records, and later released her debut album “Songs in A Minor,” with J Records in 2001.

2. The album was critically and commercially successful, producing her first Billboard Hot 100 number one single “Fallin'” and selling over 12 million copies worldwide.

3. The album earned Keys five Grammy Awards in 2002.

4. Her second album, “The Diary of Alicia Keys,” was also a critical and commercial success, spawning successful singles “You Don’t Know My Name,” “If I Ain’t Got You,” and “Diary”, and selling eight million copies worldwide.

5. The album garnered her an additional four Grammy Awards.

6. Her duet “My boo” with Usher became her second number one single in 2004.

7. Keys released her first live album, “Unplugged,” and became the first woman to have an MTV Unplugged album debut at number one.

8. Her third album, “As I Am,” produced the Hot 100 number one single “No One,” selling 7 million copies worldwide and earning an additional three Grammy Awards.

9. Keys received numerous accolades in her career, including 15 competitive Grammy Awards, 17 NAACP Image Awards, 12 ASCAP Awards, and an award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame and National Musical Publishers Association.

10. She has sold over 65 million records worldwide.

11. Considered a musical icon, Keys was named by Billboard the top R&B artist of the 2000s decade and placed number 10 on their list of Top 50 R&B and Hip-Hop Artists of the Past 25 Years.

12. VH1 also included her on their 100 Greatest Artists of All Time and 100 Greatest Women in Music lists, while Time has named her in their 100 list of most influential people in 2005 and 2017.

13. Keys is acclaimed for her humanitarian work, philanthropy and activism.

14. She co-founded and is the Global Ambassador of the nonprofit HIV/AIDS fighting organization Keep a Child Alive.

15. She was born on January 25, 1981, in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York City’s Manhattan borough.

16. She is the only child of Teresa, who was a paralegal and part-time actress, and one of three children of Craig Cook, who was a flight attendant.

17. Keys’ father is African American and her mother is of Italian and either Scottish or Irish descent.

18. Named after her Puerto Rican godmother, Keys expressed that she was comfortable with her multiracial heritage because she felt that she was able to “relate to different cultures.”

19. Keys’ father left when she was two years old and she was subsequently raised by her mother during her formative years in Hell’s Kitchen.

20. Keys said that her parents never had a relationship, and her father was not in her life.

21. Her mother often worked three jobs to provide for Keys, who, “learned how to survive,” from her mother’s example of tenacity and self-reliance.

22. In preschool, Keys sung in her school’s production of the musical “Cats” and was cast as Dorothy Gale in a production of “The Wizard of Oz.”

23. Keys discovered that she had a passion for the piano by age six, as she loved the sound and feel of the instrument and desired to play and learn it.

24. Keys enrolled in the Professional Performing Arts School at the age of 12, where she took music, dance, and theater classes and majored in choir.

25. Keys spent more time in Harlem during her teenage years. She connected wit the cultural and racial diversity in the neighborhood, where she expanded upon her musical exploration, and her character was also solidified.

26. In 1994, manager Jeff Robinson met 13 year old Keys, who participated in his brother’s youth organization called Teens in Motion.

27. Keys has been referred to as the “Queen of R&B” by various media outlets.

28. Time Magazine have listed her in their list of 100 most influential people twice.

29. In 2018, the National Music Publishers Association honored Keys with the Songwriter Icon award for her “credits as a music creator” and her “role as an inspirational figure to millions.”

30. Keys is listed on the Recording Industry Association of America’s best-selling artists in the United States, selling over 17.8 million albums and 21.9 million digital songs.

31. She participated in the Nobel Peace Prize Concert, which took place at the Oslo Spektrum in Oslo, Norway, on December 11, 2007, along with other artists.

32. Keys had a low profile relationship with her long time friend and collaborator Kerry Brothers Jr. until 2008.

33. Keys later dated hip hop artist-producer Swizz Beatz. Keys and Beatz, who have known each other since they were teenagers, announced they were engaged and expecting their first child in May 2010. They held a Zulu ceremony to bless their unborn child in the Illovo suburb of Johannesburg, South Africa, during the 2010 FIFA World Cup. They were married on July 31, 2010, in a private ceremony near the Mediterranean Sea.

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