, born Alicia Augello-Cook, in Manhattan, New York City, USA on January 25, 1981, is a popular R&B vocalist and pianist. She was born to an Afro father named Craig Cook and a Caucasian mother, Terri Augello. Known as a smart student, Alicia successfully graduated as valedictorian from the Professional Performing Arts School, a public high school in Manhattan. Making use of her scholarship, Keys briefly attended Columbia University, but then dropped out to pursue career in music.
Keys has, in fact, shown that she possesses a great interest in music since her very childhood. During which she, at seven years old, had begun playing piano and learned classical music by classy composers like Beethoven, Mozart and Chopin, all of whom are her favorites. When she was fourteen years old, Keys wrote her first song "Butterflyz" which was included on her debut album "", released on August 19, 2001. This first album was commercially a success, with one of its singles entitled "Fallin'" sitting at #1 in U.S. charts and #3 in U.K. charts. It also won five Grammy Awards in 2002.