What does it mean to be the owner of everything you do' Well, if youre a singer, songwriter, pianist extraordinaire, producer, author, news correspondent, award winner, philanthropist, and soon to be actress it means youre probably pretty wealthy. But for Alicia Keys, being wealthy has little to do with money. For Alicia wealth is measured in self fulfillment, enjoyment, passion and love of creation. Alicia Keys is the kind of person who looks at her work as an expression of her own life experiences. It is through this code of ethics that Alicia truly becomes the owner of all she does with endless promise.
Born and bred in the heart of New York, her talent was evident early with study at the Professional Performance Arts School in Manhattan. There she received classical piano training and studied Beethoven, Mozart, and Chopin as well as the jazz stylings of Oscar Peterson, Fats Waller and Marian McPartland with her teacher Margaret Pine. Alicia finished high school by the age of 16. She attended Columbia University before deciding to make music her primary focus. Growing up Alicia was strongly influenced by music from all different generations and disciplines, from the essential music of Nina Simone, Donny Hathaway, Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder to urban lyricists such as Tupac Shakur, The Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z and the Wu-TangClan.
With her unmistakable blend of soul, hip-hop, jazz and classical music, Alicia burst onto the music scene in June 2001 with her debut release Songs In A Minor on Clive Davis J Records. Songs In A Minor debuted at the top of the Billboard 200 Chart selling over 235,000 copies in its first week. The album went on to sell more than 10 million units worldwide symbolizing the international impact she has as an artist. Jeff Robinson, President of MBK Entertainment and Clive Davis, Chairman and CEO of BMG North America, have served as one two of Alicias mentors and together they have formed a formidable friendship and powerhouse musical team. From the moment Mr. Robinson discovered Alicia and showcased her talent to J Records, Mr. Davis was committed to allow Alicia to develop her own musical vision. Clive Davis totally allows me to be who I am creatively, giving me different perspectives but seeing the artist in me, she said.
After relentless touring, Alicia followed up her successful debut with, The Diary of Alicia Keys released in December 2003. The album was hailed by critics and sold over 618,000 copies its first week of release in the United States. The Diary of Alicia Keys is currently 7 times platinum. Through different lyrical themes, the album demonstrates her innovative approach to music and the diversity of her own training, combined with classical elements and crazy beats.
Throughout her career Alicia has acquired the title of award winner. She has won nine Grammy Awards, eleven Billboard Music Awards, three American Music Awards, three World Music Awards, two MTV Video Music Awards, two MTV Europe Awards, three NAACP Awards, two Nickelodeon Teen Choice Awards, one BET Award, six Soul Train Music Awards, one Soul Train Lady of Soul Award, one Peoples Choice Award, and one My VH1 Award.
2005 was huge for Alicia in which she acquired two more glorious titles for ownership. She released her very first published work called TEARS FOR WATER: Songbook of Poems & Lyrics by Alicia Keys. This deep rooted personal collaboration of Alicias inner most thoughts and emotions has landed her a spot on the New York Times Expanded Best Seller List. In 2004 Alicia also became a travel correspondent for The New York Daily News writing monthly travel columns throughout the summer detailing experiences from her world tour, which included a performance at The Great Wall of China.
Alicia also continued her philanthropy by generously giving her time and energy to her charities Keep A Child Alive, which provides antiretroviral drugs to the millions suffering from AIDS in Africa, Frum Tha Ground Up, and Teens in Motion.
In October of 2005, released her Unplugged album to rave reviews. The album consists of Alicias most acclaimed music, along with several new songs exclusive to her Unplugged performance. Keys is joined on the album by musical counterparts Common, Mos Def, Damian Marley and Adam Levine (Maroon 5) for several memorable collaborations. Alicias Unplugged went on to be nominated for three Grammys.
After a life changing trip to Africa she established her charity, Keep A Child Alive which is funding and helping build clinics that will help dispense antiretroviral drugs to children and adults infected with the HIV virus. Alicia and Keep A Child Alive work together to raise AIDS awareness and provide these lifesaving AIDS medicines directly to children and families with HIV/AID used to treat this disease. Alicia comments on her work with Keep A Child Alive, I have teamed up with Keep A Child Alive to lend my voice to what is one of the most important moral issues of our time. The war against AIDS is just as necessary as the war on terrorism or rebuilding impoverished countries like Afghanistan, or Iraq. Keep A Child Alive is an emergency response to the deadly treatment gap that is destroying Africa.
Alicia returned from Africa with a renewed sense of purpose and she and Keep A Child Alive have set a goal of getting as many people on treatment as possible in their clinics for the coming year. 72 percent of all people who need AIDS treatment are in Sub-Saharan Africa, yet only 17 percent are able to access it. Keep A Child Alive is about action and treatment. It's time to deliver. Over the coming months, Alicia will continue to help the campaign, which will unfold on the web, through college campus initiatives, music related events and in many non-traditional venues that serve the power of message.
Romance came for Keys in 2009 when she started working closely with producer Swizz Beatz. They came out with the relationship in May that year. Keys got engaged to Beatz in 2010 after learning that she was pregnant with their first child. They later made the relationship official in a wedding ceremony held on the French island of Corsica on July 31, 2010. Their son, Egypt Daoud Ibarr Dean, was born in October in New York City, where they currently reside
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