Alicia Keys was born on January 25, 1981. She is a classically trained pianist that made her way to Hollywood at the age of 15 when Columbia Records signed her. After releasing her debut album in 2001, she became internationally known as one of the best R&B singers of her time. But it didn’t stop at Grammy awards and nominations. This singer/songwriter has touched the hearts of many with her humanitarian and philanthropic services earning her an Ambassador of Conscience award from Amnesty International. No wonder we cannot do without our Keys. When you combine her insane work ethic and sense of discipline with her lovely and rooted essence, her empathy and consideration of others with her slick style, her fortitude and sincerity with all the charitable work she does, and her unstoppable performance skills with her voice sent from heaven, how can we not become totally obsessed? So let us celebrate this diva’s birthday in style!
Alicia Augello Cook
January 25, 1981
Alicia Augello Cook, best known as Alicia Keys, was born on January 25, 1981, in Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan, to Theresa. While she was her mother’s sole child, she was one of three children to her father, Craig, a flight attendant. Her mother is of Irish and Scottish descent, while her father is of African American descent. She had no interaction with her father because he left her and her mother when Keys was only two years old. The absence of a father figure in her life did not prevent her from rising among the stars. Though her difficult upbringing in Hell’s Kitchen exposed her to a variety of social vices, it only served to highlight how much work she had to put in for a bright future.
Keys fell in love with singing at the age of six, performing in school plays, and eventually finding a connection with the piano. At the age of 12, she composed her first song in remembrance of her late grandfather while learning to play the piano. She was selected into the Professional Performing Arts school the same year, where she was able to practice and hone her singing, songwriting, and piano playing skills. Manager Jeff Robinson started training Keys, assisting her in putting together a demo and putting her in shows where people in the music business could listen to her. He also persuaded her to enter a girls’ choir, but Keys decided that she could win a contract with just a piano and her voice. A bidding war erupted once the executives heard her perform. In the end, Keys contracted with Columbia Records since the contract contained a baby grand piano, and all of this happened while she was just 15 years old. When she was refused the liberty to express and create music in her style, she chose to terminate her contract with Columbia Records and continue to compose music in her style. She began her discussion with famed musical tycoon Clive Davis, who helped begin the careers of a lot of celebrities. Davis wanted to support her dream come true, so he purchased her a deal with Arista Records and began putting in a huge amount of work to publish her debut record.
However, Davis was subsequently pushed out of his own company, making the release of Keys’ debut album challenging. Davis, on the other hand, quickly established a new record company and instantly signed Keys by assisting her in the publication of her first solo album, “Songs In A Minor,” which was a commercial success. The year after her album’s release was indeed a big one for her since she was nominated for six Grammys and won five: Song of the Year, Best New Artist, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, Best R&B Song, and Best R&B Album. Keys also received recognition from several other entities. She did a lot of touring to promote her album. She also published books and poems and donated to charities that assist children living with AIDS. “Smokin’ Aces,” her action-comedy first film, was her big-screen debut. Since then, Keys has continued to soar in popularity, creating album after album that has either topped the charts or earned her Grammys. She recorded eight studio albums, three of which were certified platinum. She is married to Swizz Beatz and they have two children. She was also the first woman in 14 years to host the Grammy Awards. In 2020, she launched Keys Soulcare, a skincare and wellness brand aimed at encouraging self-love. And we can see even now that the girl is on fire, making even more legendary music that we will be hearing very soon!
Keys falls in love with music and sees nothing else but producing music, and she begins composing songs and creating music at the age of 12.
She secures a contract with Arista Records to make her dream a reality, but her debut album is stalled.
Davis, the former record owner, instantly signs Keys and fulfills her dream by releasing her debut album.
After hip-hop sensation Lauryn Hill in 1999, Keys is the only artist in Grammy history to receive five awards.
She is soon titled Queen of R&B, and with the songs she creates and releases, she well justifies the title.
She co-founds a charitable trust and is also a Global Ambassador for the non-profit organization Keep a Child Alive.
As an artist, wife, C.E.O., daughter, and mother, Keys never shies away from any of her responsibilities and continues to achieve success, inspiring millions.
Her beauty enterprise encourages and focuses on self-love by offering natural elements to nurture oneself.
Why We Love Alicia Keys
She loves all her imperfections
Keys, like everyone else, has flaws and insecurities, but we admire her for being upfront about them and never hiding them. In this day and age, it’s rare to see such transparency.
Her songs are about real-world issues
We appreciate how her songs have always expressed essential messages. Messages and issues have never been more powerful than when delivered by the queen herself.
She respects her lineage
While many people forget their roots after tasting fame and prosperity, Keys is proud of her roots even after her successes. That is something we admire about her!
5 Surprising Facts
She is a talented pianist
Keys began learning the piano when she was just seven years old, and we can undoubtedly see how well she performs.
Grammy award winner unlike any other
She has 15 Grammy Awards, and she received a half Grammy Award when John Mayor, who won song of the year, split the award in half and shared it with Keys, stating that she was a more worthy candidate to win the award than his song that year.
She is a valedictorian
She graduated from Professional Performing Arts School in New York as valedictorian, finishing first in her class.
Firsts are always memorable
She was extremely ill for her first Grammy Awards, but with the aid of her meds, she managed to deliver a stunning performance and, to top it all off, she won her first five Grammys!
She received a presidential honor
She was privileged to compose a theme song for presidential nominee Barack Obama during the presidential election.
Alicia Keys FAQs
What kind of music does Keys produce?
She produces R&B/Soul music.
Who is Keys' inspiration?
Marvin Gaye was the first person to show her how and where to write and speak from a place of experience. His technique of backdrop voice creation is something she frequently listens to for inspiration.
What are Keys' children's names?
Egypt Daoud Dean is the elder, while Genesis Ali Dean is the younger.
Alicia Keys’s birthday dates