1. Alicia Augello Cook (born January 25, 1981), known by the pseudonym Alicia Keys, is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress.
2. Keys released her debut album with J Records, having had previous record deals first with Columbia and then Arista Records.
3. Keys has made guest appearances on several television series, beginning with The Cosby Show.
4. She made her film debut in Smokin’ Aces and also went on to appear in The Nanny Diaries in 2007.
5. Her third studio album, As I Am, was released in the same year and sold five million copies worldwide, earning Keys an additional three Grammy Awards.
6. The following year, she appeared in The Secret Life of Bees, which earned her a nomination at the NAACP Image Awards.
7. She released her fourth album, The Element of Freedom, in December 2009, which became Keys’ first chart-topping album in the United Kingdom.
8. She released her fifth album, Girl on Fire, in November 2012, which became Keys’ fifth chart-topping album in the United States.
9. Throughout her career, Keys has won numerous awards and sold over 35 million albums and 30million singles worldwide. Billboard magazine named her the top R&B songs artist of the 2000s decade.
10. In 2010, VH1 included Keys on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
11. In 1994, Keys met long-term manager Jeff Robinson after she enrolled in his brother’s after-school program. The following year Robinson introduced Keys to her future A&R at Arista Records, Peter Edge, who later described his first impressions to HitQuarters: “I had never met a young R&B artist with that level of musicianship.
12. So many people were just singing on top of loops and tracks, but she had the ability, not only to be part of hip-hop, but also to go way beyond that.” Edge helped Robinson create a showcase for Keys and also got involved in developing her demo material.
13. He was keen to sign Keys himself but was unable to do so at that time due to being on the verge of leaving his present record company.
14. Keys signed to Columbia Records soon after. At the same time as signing a recording contract with Columbia Records, Keys was accepted into Columbia University.
15. At first, Keys attempted to manage both, but after a month, she dropped out of college to pursue her musical career full-time.
16. Keys signed a demo deal with Jermaine Dupri and So So Def Recordings, where she appeared on the label’s Christmas album performing “The Little Drummer Girl”.
17. She also co-wrote and recorded a song titled “Dah Dee Dah (Sexy Thing)”, which appeared on the soundtrack to the 1997 film, Men in Black. The song was Keys’ first professional recording; however, it was never released as a single and her record contract with Columbia ended after a dispute with the label.