Name: Alicia Augello Cook
Birth place: Manhattan, New York, USA
Birth date: January 25, 1981
Nationality: American
Occupation: musician, song writer
Studies: The Professional Performance Arts School in Manhattan, New York (majored in Choir; graduated in 1997) and Columbia University in New York (did not attend so she could pursue singing professionally)

Biography and Career :

Alicia Keys was born on January 25, 1981, in Manhattan, New York. She is a famous American R&B singer.

At the tender age of 7, Alicia was introduced to the piano. She studied classical music from Beethoven, Mozart, and Chopin (which was her favorite) and delved into such jazz greats as Marian McPartland, Oscar Peterson and Fats Waller.

The road to success wasn't an easy one. Born to a white mom, Terri Augello, and a black dad, Craig Cook, she grew up in Hell's Kitchen, New York. "It was kind of a cool spot, but 42nd Street then was no heaven. Prostitutes, pimps, drug dealers," recalls Keys. To cope with the street life, Alicia turned to piano-playing at the age of 7.

Alicia Keys attended the Professional Performing Arts High School and rehearsed with vocal coach Conrad Robinson at the Harlem Police Athletic League Community center until at age 16. During this time, Alicia graduated as her high school valedictorian and was accepted to attend Columbia University. Conrad introduced Keys to his brother Jeff, Alicia's 'batman", who began searching for the right label.

When she was 14 she wrote her first song "Butterflyz" which is featured on her latest album "Songs in A Minor." Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Nina Simone, Donny Hathaway, were all her inspirations as were Biggie, Tupac, Jay-Z and Wu Tang. Alicia Keys took all of those different genres of music and rolled them all into one, to create a style all her own.

She released her first album, Songs in A Minor, in 2001. Alicia Keys was only 20 years old. The album featured the hit singles "Fallin'" and "Girlfriend" and rocketed Keys to stardom. (Her good looks -- she's of African and Italian descent -- helped, too.) She won five Grammy awards in 2002, including Best New Artist and Song of the Year for "Fallin'." Keys also has been a prolific soundtrack artist, recording songs for movies such as Men in Black (1997), Shaft (2000) and Dr. Doolittle 2 (2001).

In 2003 she released her second album, The Diary of Alicia Keys.

Why we like Alicia Keys?

Alicia Keys music is something unique and special. She managed to successfully combine various music genres and the result is outstanding. Even if her music is sometimes heavily criticized, Alicia Keys still remains one of the greatest voices of the moment.

Why is Alicia Keys famous?

Alicia Keys is a famous singer. During her outstanding career, she won no less than 87 awards and she was nominated for 170 times. It is impressive, especially for an young artist. Her albums sold in more than 30 millions copies worldwide.

Trivia :

- She appeared on the covers of Vibe, Vanity Fair, SevenTeen, and Teen magazines.
- She began to play the piano at age 7.
- She accepted by Columbia University at age 16, but dropped out to pursue her music career.
- Height : 5'5''/166 cm
- She was named one of People Magazine's "Breakthrough Stars of 2001".
- She lives in New York City.
- She was the first artist to sign with J Records.
- She wrote her first song at the age of 14.
- Her maternal grandmother is of Puerto Rican descent.
- She graduated a performing arts high school at age 16.
- She wrote and produced "Impossible", one of the songs on Christina Aguilera's album, "Stripped".
- Her mother is of Irish and Italian descent. Father is of Jamaican decent.
- She says the child she has met that inspired her most is 13 year old Sydnee Bush, of Savannah, Georgia (as of 2005)
- She has been friends with R&B superstar Usher Raymond since she was 14.

Quotes :

- "I always want to stay focused on who I am, even as I'm discovering who I am".

- "Oh my God, the [hip-hop] videos! The imagery is so awful! I just can't get with it at all. The best thing I can say about it is that sometimes you have to see that kind of stuff so as to have a more balanced view about why it's so bad." [her opinion on the use of women, sex and sleaze in today's rap/hip-hop videos]

- "Keep a Child Alive is my passion and my mission."

Discography :

- 2005 Unplugged [CD & DVD]
- 2005 Unplugged
- 2004 Diary of Alicia Keys [Import Bonus Track]
- 2004 Diary of Alicia Keys [Germany Bonus CD]
- 2004 Diary of Alicia Keys [Australia Bonus CD]
- 2003 Songs in A Minor [2003]
- 2003 Diary of Alicia Keys [Bonus DVD]
- 2003 Diary of Alicia Keys
- 2002 Songs in A Minor [Japanese Bonus Tracks]
- 2002 Songs in A Minor [Expanded]
- 2002 Songs in A Minor [Bonus VCD]
- 2002 Songs in A Minor [Australia Bonus CD]
- 2001 Songs in A Minor.

Filmography :

- Smokin' Aces (2007)
- The Nanny Diaries (2007)
- "American Dreams" (2003) TV Episode
- "Charmed" (2001) TV Episode (uncredited)
- "Saturday Night Live" (2001) TV Episode
- "The Cosby Show" (1985) TV Episode.
Tag : singer
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