Alicia Keys is a multi-talented American singer/songwriter and pianist whose music is a crossover of hip-hop, R&B, classical, and jazz.
Keys was born and raised in Manhattan, where she began learning the piano at 7 and writing songs at 11. Honing her vocal talents at the Professional Performance Arts School, Keys graduated at the top of her class and was confronted with offers from both Columbia Records and Columbia University. Ultimately deciding to focus on her music career, Keys signed with Columbia and recorded a track for the Men in Black soundtrack before joining forces with Clive Davis, who had just formed his own label, J Records.
Keys released Songs in A Minor in 2001 to astronomical critical and commercial success. The album went platinum in ten countries and earned the artist five Grammys. Riding on this momentum, Keys put out The Diary of Alicia Keys in 2003, which earned her another handful of Grammys and produced three Top 10 singles, “Diary,” “You Don’t Know My Name,” and “If I Ain’t Got You.” Keys followed up with a book of poetry, Tears for Water, and the live album Unplugged in 2005, which also flew to the top of the charts.
While working on her fourth album, As I Am, Keys tried her hand at acting, starring in Smokin’ Aces and The Nanny Diaries. As I Am (2007) was nominated for four Grammys, with “Superwoman” taking home the award for Best Female R&B Performance. In late 2009, Keys broke charts again with the single “Empire State of Mind” alongside Jay-Z. The Element of Freedom followed in 2010, going platinum and reaching number one in the U.K. Over the course of the next couple of years, Keys married producer Swizz Beatz, had a child, and contributed to a variety of projects with other artists, including Kanye West’s “All of the Lights,” and Jennifer Hudson’s “Angel.” Keys’ fifth album, Girl on Fire, came out in 2012, becoming her fifth number one album in the U.S., aided by its highly popular titular single.
Keys appeared in the second season of Empire in 2013, writing “Powerful” alongside co-star Jussie Smollett. That year, she also released the single “28 Thousand Days,” and made her third appearance as a guest on Saturday Night Live. Keys appeared as a coach on the Voice as well, before released her sixth album, Here, which reached number two on Billboard’s Top 200. In 2019, Keys hosted the 61st Grammy Awards, for which she wrote the single “Raise a Man.”
Keys performs regular sold-out shows across the country and globe, and can be booked for private parties and corporate entertainment events.