Alicia Keys is an award-winning singer-songwriter with over 40 million albums sold worldwide.
This child prodigy has numerous awards to her name and was listed among the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time by VH1 in 2010.
If you love Alicia Keys, here are 40 fun facts you can’t miss!
Her full name is Alicia Augello Cook.
Alicia is 38 years old. She was born on 25th January 1981 in Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan, New York.
At one point, for the stage name, Alicia had considered calling herself as ‘Alicia Wild’ but her mother rejected it saying it sounded more like a stripper.
Her mother is called Teresa Augello, who is a paralegal and part-time actress. Her father Craig Cook is a flight attendant.
Alicia’s mother is of Italian, English, Scottish, and Irish descent. Her father is African American.
She started playing piano at the age of 7 and she majored in choir by the age of 14. She started writing her own songs by that time.
At age 5, Alicia appeared in an episode of ‘The Cosby Show‘ in 1985.
In 1994, Alicia Keys signed a contract with Columbia Records and was also accepted into the Columbia University. She also dropped out of college this year to pursue her musical career.
Keys first studio album ‘Songs in A Minor’ in 2001 debuted at #1 on Billboard 200 which sold over 12 million copies worldwide.
She made her movie debut as an assassin Georgia Sykes in the 2006 movie ‘Smockin’ Aces‘ along with Common, the famous rapper.
Alicia Keys gave a live music performance during the 2016 UEFA Champions League Final’s opening ceremony, the first in the history of the league.
Keys made her directorial debut with a short film ‘Project 5′ also known as ‘Five‘ in 2011. The film follows 5 different stories, of 5 different women, who were all affected by breast cancer.
Majority of Alicia’s song lyrics are often about female empowerment, love and heartbreak.
At the NAACP Image Awards, she received nomination for ‘Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture’ for her performance as June Boatwright in ‘The Secret Life of Bees.’
Alicia is the second female artist on a solo performance to win 5 Grammy Awards in a night at the 2002 Grammy Awards. Lauryn Hill was the first to achieve the feat at the 1999 Grammy Awards.
On 31st July 2010, Alicia Keys married the record producer Swizz Beatz with a ceremony on the French Island of Corsica.
To raise money for those affected by the hurricane Katrina she performed in two concerts ‘Shelter from the Storm: A Concert for the Gulf Coast’ and ‘ReAct Now: Music and Relief.’
Being an accomplished pianist from the age of 14, Keys incorporates it in almost all her songs. She includes R&B, Jazz and Soul in her music along with classical piano.
Alicia Keys is the ambassador and co-founder of a non-profit organization called ‘Keep a Child Alive‘, providing medicines in Africa for HIV and AIDS.
‘Songs in A Minor‘ in 2001 propelled Keys to stardom all around the world making her the best selling new artist of that year.
Keys collaborated with rapper Kendrick Lamar, producer Pharrell Williams and film composer Hans Zimmer for the song ‘It’s On Again‘ that served as the soundtrack for the 2014 movie ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2‘.
Keys collaborated with her husband Beatz, to produce a single ‘Million Dollar Bill‘ for Whitney Houston’s sixth album ‘I Look To You‘ in 2009.
Alicia Keys was criticized by anti smoking campaigners when the billboard poster contained a logo of a tobacco company promoting cigarettes. The company later withdrew the sponsorship.
Alicia released the first book in a series of children’s book titled ‘Blue Moon: From the Journals of MaMa Mae and Lee Lee‘ on 11th November 2014.
She gave birth to her first child, Egypt on 14th October 2010 and soon after recorded a song called ‘Speechless‘ dedicated to her son. She gave birth to her second son Genesis in December 2014.
With a #NoMakeup campaign on Twitter, Alicia launched a makeup free campaign stating that women’s individuality is lost behind those foundations and mascaras.
Her single ‘If I Ain’t Got You‘ remained on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip Hop songs chart for more than a year. Keys was the first female artist to do so.
After the 9/11 Attack, Alicia Keys performed ‘Someday We Will All Be Free‘, a 1973 song, at the televised concert ‘America: A Tribute to Heroes‘.
Her second album ‘The Diary of Alicia Keys‘ won 3 Grammys at the 2005 Grammy Awards and made it to #31 on the list of best selling albums of the decade!
During the 50th anniversary celebration of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment in New York, Alicia Keys was announced as one of the ambassadors along with Lady Gaga, Robert De Niro, John Leguizamo and Jane Rosenthal.
After a gap of 2 years, Keys recorded a chart topping song ‘My Boo‘ with Usher in 2004, which topped Billboard Hot 100 and Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs for 6 weeks and 3 weeks respectively.
During the presidential election Keys recorded a theme song for the presidential nominee Barack Obama.
For her part as June Boatwright in the 2008 movie ‘The Secret Life of Bees‘, Alicia learned to play cello within 4 weeks.
Along with her songwriting partner Kerry Krucial Brothers, Keys opened a recording studio called The Oven Studios in Long Island, New York.
She was honored with Golden Note Award in the year 2009, by American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers for achieving extraordinary career milestones.
Alicia Keys is one of the judges in the American reality TV singing competition The Voice for season 11 along with Miley Cyrus, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton.
Keys made a guest appearance in the second season of the TV series Empire titled ‘Sinned Against‘ as the pop sensation Skye Summers in 2015.
During an interview with Manny Norte on ‘The Norté Show‘, Alicia Keys revealed that her 5 year old son Egypt composed and sung an untitled song.
For the photoshoot of her single ‘In Common‘, Alicia Keys turned up wearing only a sweatshirt and a scarf as she was returning from the gym. Photographer Paola Kudrick was impressed and asked her to pose without any makeup.
In 2015, Alica & husband Swizz sold their 25,000 sq. ft. home as it wasn’t big enough for their enormous art collection.