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Alicia Keys (born Alicia J. Augello-Cook, 25.1.1985)
Alicia Keys is an American-born R&B musician. She has sold over 25 million albums worldwide and won a number of high-profile awards, including 11 Grammy Awards, 11 Billboard Awards and three American Music Awards.
Net worth: Alicia Keys has a net worth of $45 million according to The Richest (2013).
Childhood: Alicia was born in Harlem, New York, to Teresa Augello (of Irish and Scottish heritage) and Craig Cook (a Jamaican). Her parents separated when she was young and she was raised by her mother in Manhattan. In 1985, she played one of a group of girls at Rudy Huxtable's sleepover in hit comedy show, The Cosby Show. She began to play the piano aged seven and attended the Professional Performing Arts School aged only 16.
Career: Keys dropped out of university to pursue her musical career and signed a demo deal with Jermaine Dupri's So So Def label. She co-wrote a track for the Men In Black film soundtrack, entitled `Dah Dee Dah (Sexy Thing), though it was never released as a single. Arista records - now disbanded - signed Alicia Keys, but when the company ceased to exist, Keys followed Clive Davis, who instigated the signing, to his new label, J Records. She wrote two more soundtrack songs, `Rock Wit U' for Shaft and `Rear View Mirror', for Dr. Dolittle 2. She then released her debut solo album, Songs In A Minor in 2001. Songs In A Minor sold over 235,000 copies in its first week and went on sell in excess of 10 million copies worldwide. The first single from the album, `Fallin'' received a great deal of radio airplay on many different stations and spent six weeks on the Billboard Hot 100's number one spot. As a result of the praise for the album, Alicia Keys is one of the five female artists who have won five Grammy Awards in a single night. The others are Lauryn Hill (1999), Norah Jones (2003), Beyonce (2004) and Amy Winehouse (2008). Alicia Keys also wrote, played piano, produced and sang backing vocals for Christina Aguilera's song `Impossible' from Aguilera's 2002 album, stripped. Key's second album was entitled The Diary of Alicia Keys and was released in 2003. It became the sixth biggest-selling album by a female artist and the second biggest-selling album by and R&B artist. It has sold over nine million copies worldwide. In 2005, Alicia Keys joined Jamie Foxx and Quincy Jones on a performance of `Georgia On My Mind,' a song made famous by Ray Charles in 1980. She won four Grammy Awards that night and was nominated for a fifth. In 2005, Keys released a recording of her MTV Unplugged performance, recorded at the Brooklyn Academy Of Music. Rappers Common and Mos Def collaborated with Keys as part of the performance, as well as Damien Marley (son of Bob Marley) and Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine, with whom she performed a cover of The Rolling Stones song, `Wild Horses.' Key's third studio album, As I Am, was released in 2007. The album achieved first-week sales of 742,000 copies: the largest sales week of Key's career. The lead single `No One' earned the singer a further two Grammy Awards. She opened the ceremony with an unusual duet, featuring footage of the deceased Frank Sinatra, singing his 1950's song `Learnin' The Blues.' She teamed up with Jack White on the 'Quantum of Solace' theme tune which became the first ever duet Bond song. In 2009, she featured on 'Empire State of Mind' by Jay-Z which topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart and won two Grammys. She became the first non-Hispanic to top the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart when she collaborated with Alejandro Sanz on 'Looking for Paradise'. Alicia's fourth studio album 'The Element Of Freedom' was released in 2009 for which the lead single was 'Doesn't Mean Anything'. It was her first album to top the UK Album Chart. She teamed up with Beyonce on third single 'Put It in a Love Song'. Her fifth album, 'Girl On Fire', came out in 2012 and featured a song co-written by Emeli Sandé called 'Not Even the King'. She teamed up with Kendrick Lamar on the track 'It's on Again' from The Amazing Spider-Man 2 soundtrack. She has been involved in various advertising campaigns including Dove Go Fresh in 2008, Glacéau's VitaminWater, American Express and Reebok. She also co-released an iOS app with Bento Box Interactive called 'The Journals of Mama Mae and LeeLee'. In 2013, she was named Global Creative Director of BlackBerry. In the 2000's, Keys made a number of bit-part appearances in TV shows such as Charmed and American Dreams. Her big-screen debut came in early 2007 when she co-starred in Smokin' Aces, alongside Ben Affleck and Ray Liotta. She went on to star in an adaptation of The Nanny Diaries alongside Scarlett Johansson. In 2008, she appeared in 'The Secret Life of Bees' opposite Jennifer Hudson and Dakota Fanning.
Personal life: Alicia caused controversy by asserting that 'Gangsta rap' was a ploy created by the government to induce black people to be violent towards each other. In 2009, it was announced that she was in a relationship with producer Swizz Beatz. The pair married in 2010 and welcomed their first child, Egypt Daoud Ibarr Dean.
Married singer Alicia Keys has recorded a special Valentine's Day (14Feb16) message for U.S. politician Paul Ryan, urging him to act on criminal justice reform.
The No One star and social activist has reached out to the Republican House Speaker in a flirty YouTube.com video, in which she offers to be his date for the most romantic day of the year if he helps to push through legislation to end the mass incarceration of non-violent crime offenders across the U.S.
Keys, who has long advocated for the cause, addresses Ryan directly in the clip, in which the sultry singer compliments the fitness fanatic by referring to old photos of the 46-year-old lifting weights.
"I never saw the Speaker of the House working out before," Keys gushes. "He must be cool. Are you cool, Paul? Show me how cool you are. In fact you can even maybe be my Valentine if you help me spread some love."
Singer Alicia Keys is becoming more powerful the older she gets.
The No One singer, who celebrated her 35th birthday on 25 January (16), is as career-driven as ever.
"I love what I do, I love music, it’s so powerful," she told Gayle King at Hearst's masterclass, according to WWD.com "What’s becoming more evident is that I’m becoming more powerful. I’m getting more clarity and more wisdom of what’s happening in the world and how to talk about it, how to access my feelings more."
Alicia's continued confidence has translated into her new music - something that will become more evident with the release of her upcoming sixth album.
Continue reading: Alicia Keys: 'I'm Becoming A Real Girl On Fire'
Hip Hop Producer Swizz Beatz Has Settled A $724,000 (£483,000) Tax Debt With U.s. Authorities.
Pop Superstar Lady Gaga Donned A Tuxedo And A Bowler Hat To Channel Frank Sinatra For A Grammy Tribute Show Marking 100 Years Since His Birth.
The Bad Romance star slicked back her hair to complete her masculine look for her performance at the Sinatra 100: An All-Star Grammy Concert in Las Vegas on Wednesday (02Dec15).
Lady GaGa gave a rendition of Sinatra's ode to her hometown, New York, New York, during the star-studded gala show, which was held at the Wynn Las Vegas Encore Theater and hosted by funnyman Seth MACFarlane.
Usher kicked off the show with a performance of That's Life, and other stars who took to the stage included Las Vegas regular Celine Dion, who sang All the Way, and Alicia Keys, who belted out I've Got a Crush on You.
Continue reading: Lady Gaga Dresses As Frank Sinatra For Tribute Show
Actress Taraji P. Henson, Singer Janelle Monae And Boxer Laila Ali Have Joined Alicia Keys' Charity As Ambassadors.
The No One star has formed a new council for her Keep a Child Alive charity and has enlisted her celebrity friends to help her raise awareness about HIV and AIDS, according to the New York Post.
"AIDS is the number one cause of death of adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa and the second greatest cause of death worldwide," a statement from Henson to The Associated Press on World AIDS Day (01Dec15) reads. "I'm honored to be supporting Keep a Child Alive in the fight to put an end to this disease."
"We need to come together and use our voice to help put an end to this epidemic," Monae adds.
Continue reading: Taraji P. Henson And Janelle Monae Join Alicia Keys' Charity
Empire, the Fox drama series with a storyline surrounding a hip-hop entertainment company (Empire Entertainment), is one of the most talked about shows in the States. This soundtrack, as well as the Season 1 disc which was released earlier this year, is comprised of songs performed on the show, by the actors/musicians themselves. The production is handled entirely by Virginia producer Timbaland, who has worked with pretty much everyone in hip-hop you can think of. Jussie Smollett, Yazz and Bre-Z make up a significant amount of the tracks on here, as well as Terrence Howard and Petey Pablo's collaboration Snitch Bitch, which was one of the main draws to giving this a listen.
The opening track Born To Love You features some pretty smooth, tasteful R&B vocals from Smollett, and the trap-influenced chorus is a nice switch up that is successfully executed. Snitch Bitch was exciting for me because of Petey Pablo's return. He is on the show (apparently because Terrence Howard owed him $200, and getting Pablo a part in Empire was his way of repaying the debt), and it's good to see him back in any capacity. Petey's first album, 2001s Diary Of A Sinner: 1st Entry, is an under-rated LP with some fantastic Timbaland production, but without a proper release since 2004s Still Writing In My Diary I was unsure if we'd ever get to hear more music from the North Carolina MC. This track is a collaboration between Pablo and Howard, and although it's not terrible, it falls a little flat; the repetitive production and auto-tuned chorus fell way short of my expectations. Perhaps they were unrealistically high.
Bout To Blow is a guilty pleasure for me to be honest. Throw it on at 2 AM after a few too many and you might catch me off guard on the dancefloor. The beat creates an instant vibe, and it's proof that Timbaland still knows how to craft energetic, well-structured club-bangers. Terrence Howard and Bre-Z's Boom Boom Boom Boom is another highlight. The menacing, tribal production finds the two artists delivering aggressive lyrics over a sinister, piano-laced beat. The percussion in the hook is classic Timbaland, and the sitar line is a great addition to the simple but effective chorus. Bre-Z's appearance is very impressive; her powerful, savage delivery and consistent flow sets her apart from many of the other artists that appear on the soundtrack.
Continue reading: Empire Season 2 Part 1 Official Soundtrack - Album Review
Enterprising Hitmaker And Art Lover Swizz Beatz Has Launched A Three-day Art And Music Series At Art Basel Miami Beach In Florida, Featuring His Wife Alicia Keys.
Beatz has teamed up with Bacardi bosses for the December (15) festival, which will also feature performances from Pusha T, DMX and Wiz Khalifa.
Casa Bacardi at Wynwood will be curated by the producer and it will also feature a No Commission Art Fair, where artists will showcase their work for free and take home 100 per cent of proceeds.
"It's by the artist, for the artist, with the people," Swizz tells Billboard. "I think a lot of people forgot the message of why they're even going down to Basel. You're going down to Basel because there are amazing, creative artists who took a lot of time out of their lives to put together some masterpieces and hope for entry in a great collection or for somebody to be inspired.
Continue reading: Swizz Beatz Launches Art Basel Festival
Jay Z And Alicia Keys Are Heading To Harvard University In Massachusetts To Deliver The Keynote Speeches At The Prestigious School's 2016 H. Naylor Fitzhugh African-american Student Union Conference.
The Empire State of Mind superstars have been invited to discuss issues regarding community, business ownership and diversity, among other topics, at the 44th annual event, which is due to take place from 5 to 7 February (16).
The theme for the Harvard University Business School conference is Transcend: Redefining Expectations, and organisers hope to "celebrate African-American achievements, inspire many new milestones, and provide a forum for attendees to take on issues facing our community," according to a statement posted on the conference website.
Keys already has ties to Harvard University Business School - her husband, producer Swizz Beatz, is a student at the college, where he studies top-level management in the Owner/President Management Program.
Singer Alicia Keys Took A Trip To Washington, D.c. On Monday (09nov15) To Campaign For Criminal Justice Reform In The U.s.
The No One star met with lawmakers on Capitol Hill and urged them to pass legislation which would change the way certain convicted criminals are sentenced. Keys also stressed the importance of how the bill pertains to juvenile offenders.
"Nowhere in the rest of the western world are juveniles being tried as adults, or even worse, sentenced to life sentences without parole," she said. "Is this who we are now? Is this who we want to be? These are just regular boys and girls, trying to find their way."
"Fourteen years old and tried as an adult," she continued. "Sixteen years old and tried as an adult. We can no longer afford to be this cruel to our young... It's heartless."
Continue reading: Alicia Keys Urges U.s. Lawmakers To Pass Criminal Justice Reform Bill
A Selfie With Comedian Chris Rock Helped Swell The Coffers At The Annual Black Ball In New York On Thursday Night (05nov15) When He Offered Up A Snap With Himself For $11,000 (£6,900).
Rock joined the fundraiser's leading lady Alicia Keys and Lenny Kravitz among other stars for the 12th annual AIDS awareness event at the Hammerstein Ballroom, and even he seemed surprised when bidding for a photo with him took off.
But he was thrilled to be part of the evening, telling the audience, "Almost 37 million people worldwide are living with HIV, and a lot of them have no access to treatment. None at all. So everyone needs to come together, and we've gotta end this once and for all."
Girl on Fire singer Keys, the event's co-founder, was among the night's musical performers, alongside Wale and Lenny Kravitz.
Continue reading: Black Ball Is A Big Hit With Chris Rock, Alicia Keys And Lenny Kravitz
Dee Ocleppo, Tommy Hilfiger, Alicia Keys , Kerry Washington - Limited Edition Allstate Foundation Purple Purse Launch at The Plaza Hotel - New York, New York, United States - Thursday 24th September 2015
Date of birth
25th January, 1981
There's still time! Join me & @weareheremvmt in asking @SpeakerRyan to bring criminal justice reform to a vote --> https://t.co/ibKRUsx8FH
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