Alicia Keys (Alicia Augello Cook) born anuary 25, 1981, a 15-time Grammy® Award-winning singer/songwriter/producer, an accomplished actress, a New York Times best-selling author, an entrepreneur and a powerful force in the world of philanthropy and in the global fight against HIV and AIDS.
On November 4th, 2016, Keys released her powerful and critically-acclaimed new sixth studio album, HERE, on RCA Records. Offering an honest glimpse into what matters most to Keys, the artist shines a light on the sonic soulfulness and stories from New York, the city that raised her. As an accompanying visual story to HERE, Keys also released a short-film entitled “The Gospel” inspired by the genesis of songs written by Alicia Keys.
Keys’ seemingly unstoppable career continued in 2007 with the release of As I Am. The album also debuted at No. 1, selling more than 740,000 copies in its first week—the best sales that she ever received during the first week of an albums release. The album garnered her two more Grammys. It was during this time that Keys also began to collaborate with more artists.
In 2008, she recorded “Another Way to Die” with Jack White, which was featured as the theme song for the James Bond film Quantum of Solace (2008). She also recorded the hit single “Empire State of Mind” with fellow New Yorker Jay-Z the following year.
Biography and Profile
Musician and actor Alicia Keys was born Alicia Augello Cook on January 25, 1981, in New York, New York. Growing up, Keys was raised by her mother, Nikki Augello—a part-time actress and paralegal. She began piano lessons at age 7 and Augello’s dogged insistence that her daughter stick with the instrument led Keys to attend Manhattan’s prestigious Professional Performance Arts School, where she majored in choir. Having excelled academically, Keys was allowed to graduate at the age of 16.
Keys had already attracted the attention of record company executives while in high school years, and after what amounted to a bidding war for her talents, she signed with Arista Records in 1998. While she was accepted to Columbia University on a full scholarship, after a four-week stint at the school Keys departed to devote herself fully to her music.
Keys became a Coach on NBC’s “The Voice” for its 11th season, alongside Miley Cyrus, Adam Levine, and Blake Shelton. Keys returned as a Coach on the hit show’s 12th season with Gwen Stefani, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton.
After a very successful debut, Keys released her second album, The Diary of Alicia Keys, in 2003. She proved that her success as a new artist two years prior wasn’t a fluke, with the album debuting at No. 1. Keys also took home several Grammys for her sophomore album, including Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, Best R&B Song, Best R&B Album and Best R&B Performance by a Group or Duo with Vocals for her duet with Usher on the song “My Boo.”
As a devoted and influential activist, in September 2014, Keys launched We Are Here, a movement that empowers the global community around a host of issues and initiatives building a better world where all people are heard, respected, equal, and treated with dignity.
Alicia is also the co-founder of Keep a Child Alive (KCA), a non-profit organization that partners with grass-roots organizations to combat the physical, social, and economic impact of HIV on children, their families and their communities in Africa and India.
Keys made her directorial debut for Lifetime’s Five and most recently served as Executive Producer of the critically-acclaimed film The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete. In 2011, she made her producorial debut with Lydia R. Diamond’s play Stick Fly for the Cort Theater, which Keys also composed the original music for.
Keys currently resides in the New York City area with her husband, producer Swizz Beatz, and their children.
In July 2010, Keys married hip-hop 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.
On January 22, 2017, a day after Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration, Keys and a lineup of celebrity activists including Gloria Steinem, Angela Davis, Madonna, Cher, Ashley Judd, Scarlett Johansson, America Ferrera and Janelle Monáe, among others, participated in the Women’s March on Washington. The March inspired sister marches all over the country and the world, and drew over half a million people to Washington, DC, where they demonstrated in support of women’s rights and equality for all, and protested against President Trump’s stance on a variety issues ranging from immigration to environmental protection.
In her address to the crowd, Keys said: “Let us continue to honor all that is beautiful about being feminine. We are mothers. We are caregivers. We are artists. We are activists. We are entrepreneurs, doctors, leaders of industry and technology. Our potential is unlimited. We rise!
“We will not allow our bodies to be owned and controlled by men in government, or men anywhere for that matter. We will not allow our compassionate souls to get stepped on. We want the best for all Americans. No hate, no bigotry, no Muslim registry. We value education, health care and equality.”
She also performed a version of her hit “Girl on Fire,” changing the lyrics to “These girls are on fire.”
- Alicia Augello Cook Biography and Profile (Goodreadbiography / Alicia Keys / Biography)