Alicia Keys in New York City, New York on January 25, 1981, the
future R&B vocalist was practicing piano and being tutored
in the classics by age seven. "Butterflyz", which she
composed at 14, would later appear on her hit debut album, Songs
in A Minor.
graduated as valedictorian from the Professional Performing Arts
School in Manhattan, and attended Columbia University on scholarship
before embarking on a full time music career.
A standout as a
performer, her grounding in the basics set her apart from the
teen pop music scene and garnered respect from the music community
- which bestowed five Grammy Awards on the newly-fledged singer
and songwriter in 2002.
of Alicia Keys, released in 2003, immediately catapulated
to the top of the Billboard R&B charts. Since then, Keys as
racked up an impressive number of music awards and nominations
in 2004, including Billboard Female Artist of the Year, and the American Music Awards Favorite Female Artist.
the 2005 Grammy Award
for Best R&B Album
In 2005, Keys
took home Grammy
Awards for Best R&B album for The Diary of Alicia Keys,
Best Female R&B Vocal for If I Ain't Got You and Best
R&B performance by a duo or group for My Boo, a duet
In 2007, Alicia
Keys starred in her big screen movie debut - alongside such Hollywood
heavyweights as Ben Affleck, Andy Garcia, Ray Liotta, Jeremy Piven
and Ryan Reynolds - in the comedy caper Smokin'
Later on in
the year, she was a featured performer at the 2007 AMA
Awards in November. Her hit single "No One" earned Keys awards for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song at the 2008 Grammy Awards. Meanwhile, she also starred in The Secret Life of Bees, a film adaptation of Sue Monk Kidd's acclaimed 2003 bestseller novel of the same name alongside Jennifer Hudson and Queen Latifah, released in October. Her role earned her a nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture at the NAACP Image Awards.
Keys continued her upward career trajectory after collaborating with rap artist Jay-Z on the song "Empire State of Mind" from his 2009 album, The Blueprint 3. The song topped the Billboard Hot 100 and became her fourth number-one single.
That same year, The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers honored Keys with the Golden Note Award, an award given to artists "who have achieved extraordinary career milestones".Keys released her fourth studio album, The Element of Freedom, in December 2009.
Offstage, rumors about a possible romance between the singer and DJ/rapper Swizz Beatz was finally confirmed in May 2009. A year later, the couple announced that they were engaged and expecting a child together. Keys and Swizz Beatz later held a wedding celebration on the French island of Corsica on July 31, 2010.
Keys released her fifth studio album Girl on Fire in 2012. The album's title track was released on September 4 as its lead single, and two days later she performed the song publicly for the first time at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards.
More about Alicia Keys around the Web:
Keys - The official site featuring the latest news, video and audio
clips from her top hits, a biography, picture gallery, free newsletter,
Alicia Keys Online - A major fan site with recent news
and photos, video and audio clips, song lyrics, ringtones, wallpapers,
buddy icons and animations, picture galleries, messageboard.
Alicia Keys Picture Pages - Vital stats, a brief bio and
photo galleries of the vocalist including magazine covers, photo
shoots and publicity shots, lyrics, related links.
Keys Fan.com - Huge fan
resource with a busy messageboard, photo galleries featuring magazine
scans, photo shoots, video and TV captures, appearances at award
shows and more, plus video clips for registered users.