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While she’s a lot of things including singer, songwriter, record producer, pianist, actress, and activist, Alicia Augello Cook who is professionally known as Alicia Keys stands out for her spectacular voice.
She’s an accomplished singer who has sold over 35 million albums and 30 million copies worldwide, making her one of the best-selling music artists in history.
Alicia Keys Wiki
The American beauty was born on January 25, 1981, in the Hell’s Kitchen area of Manhattan, New York City as the only child of her mother and one of three children of her father. However, her parents separated when she was only two, leaving her to be raised by her mother during her formative years in Hell’s Kitchen.
Often referred to as the “Queen of R&B” by various media outlets, Alicia is a force to reckon with in Hollywood and she has all it takes to hold her ground. While she may have shot to prominent fame in the early 2000s, in 1985, Alicia made an appearance on The Cosby Show at the age of four, where she and a group of girls played the parts of Rudy Huxtable’s sleepover guests in the episode “Slumber Party”.
Her mother helped in inspiring the career she followed as throughout her childhood, she sent Alicia to music and dance classes where she studied classical piano from age seven, playing composers such as Beethoven, Mozart, and Chopin and enrolled in the Professional Performing Arts School at the age of 12, where she majored in choir and began writing songs at the age of 14. She graduated in four years as valedictorian at the age of 16.
While in high school, Alicia was already attracting record company executives, and after what seems like a bidding war for the talented young lady, she signed with Arista Records in 1998. Though she was accepted to Columbia University on a full scholarship, after a four-week stint at the school Alicia departed to devote herself fully to music.
She released her debut album Songs in A Minor (2001) with J Records, having had previous record deals first with Columbia and then Arista Records. The album featured her first Billboard Hot 100 number-one single Fallin, selling over 12 million copies worldwide. The album did even greater things by scoring Alicia Keys five Grammy Awards in 2002.
If you thought her debut album was the best thing that came out of her career, you should see what she achieved with her sophomore album. Alicia’s second offering, The Diary of Alicia Keys was released in 2003, spawning successful singles like You Don’t Know My Name, If I Ain’t Got You and Diary, and selling 8 million copies worldwide. Also, the duet song My Boo with Usher scored her a second number-one single in 2004. The second album garnered her an additional four Grammy Awards in 2005 and Later that year, she released her first live album, Unplugged, becoming the first woman to have an MTV Unplugged album debut at number one.
Another album, As I Am was released in 2007, producing the Hot 100 number-one single No One, selling 5 million copies worldwide and earning an additional three Grammy Awards. No One is still one of her most popular tracks worldwide till date.
A few tracks and albums later, Alicia now has numerous awards including 15 Grammy Awards and 17 NAACP Image Awards under her belt. She has sold over 35 million albums and 30 million worldwide, making her one of the best-selling music artists in the world.
Music is not her only talent as the songstress has also ventured into acting on television and film. In 1985, at the age of 4, Alicia appeared as one of Keshia Knight Pulliam’s friends on The Cosby Show (1984-92). She appeared on several other series years later, including Charmed (1998-06), American Dreams (2002-05) and The Backyardigans (2004-).
She made her film debut in 2006, appearing in the action film Smokin’ Aces as Georgia Sykes. She went on to appear in The Nanny Diaries (2007) and The Secret Life of Bees (2008), alongside renowned actresses Queen Latifah and Jennifer Hudson.
Alicia Keys Parents, Mother, Father, Family
Alicia Keys was born to Teresa (Augello), a paralegal who was also an occasional actress, and Craig Cook, a flight attendant. While her father is African-American, her mother, who is Caucasian, is of Italian and English/Irish/Scottish ancestry. Alicia has always appreciated her multiracial heritage, saying it helps her relate to different cultures.
She has 2 younger half-brothers: Clay Cook (Branch) and Cole Cook.
Is Alicia Keys Married? Husband, Kids
The singer began dating rapper Swizz Beatz (Kasseem Dean) in 2008. At the time, Kasseem was still in the process of divorcing his then-wife, singer Mashonda Tifrere.
In May 2010, Alicia and Kasseem announced their engagement while expecting their first child. In July 2010, Alicia got married to hip-hop artist and producer Swizz Beatz and the couple welcomed their first child together in October 2010, a son named Egypt Daoud Dean. In December 2014, they welcomed their second son, Genesis Ali Dean.
They reside primarily in Englewood, New Jersey.