Alicia Keys has credited her love of music with steering her away from a life of crime after seeing several of her school pals spiral into drug addiction.
The No One hitmaker grew up in the notorious Hell's Kitchen area of New York City and admits she fell in with a bad crowd.
But after seeing somebody shot in front of her as a teen, Keys decided to focus on her love of music and family life.
She says, "When I was about 13 or 14, I was in the street when someone got shot in a gang situation. What was difficult was that in my group of friends, some went the way of gangs and drugs and others didn't. You couldn't blame those that did because we were surrounded by it. It was what they knew, all they knew.
"I was lucky that I had my mother, my grandmother and my music. I was a tough kid but I didn't want that to be my future. It makes me sad to think that some of my friends had no escape."