- 12:53 PM, May 20
Alicia Keys, 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 "Songs in A Minor", 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.
In 2002, Keys released another single taken from her 1st album, named "A Woman's Worth," which gained relatively equal success to its predecessor. Writing her own songs and playing several instruments with technical prowess, Keys was perceived as an original voice singer who deserves two thumbs up at a time the musical marketplace was flooded with pop bands. This assumption makes Keys one of the most popular artists of the 21st century to have established a large fan-base of "fanatic" fans. Despite many critics aimed to her voice as artificially imitating 1970s soul singers, like Curtis Mayfield and Marvin Gaye, with hip hop influences that were less original than similar blends from nu soul artists like Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu and D'Angelo, Keys was in fact, able to prove herself to be a successful solo singer.
In the late 2003, Keys released her second album, "Diary of Alicia Keys", which went straight up to the top of the Billboard R&B charts. "If I Ain't Got You" single taken from that album was topping charts at #1 in U.S. whereas "Diary" (feat. Tony! Toni! Tone!) sat at #2 in U.S. charts. This success has led Keys to win the award for Best R'n'B at the 2004 MTV Europe Music Awards. Keys reached further recognition with