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From the influence of old R&B, like Stevie Wonder, the clasic music of Frederic Chopin, and hip-hop lyricists, like Tupac, was born this beautiful R&B singer named Alicia Keys. Alicia J. Augello Cook was born on January 25th, 1981 in New York City, New York. Alicia was raised by her mother, Teresa Augello, in Hell's Kitchen (a rough neighborhood) in New York City, New York. Her mother worked as a paralegal and was an aspiring actress. She even got Alicia a small roll on The Cosby Show when she was 5. Between her mother, who was of Irish and Italian decet, and her father, who was of Jamacain decent, Alicia came from a very diverse background. Her father, Craig Cook, who worked as a flight attendant, was not very involved in her life and seperated from her mom when she was two years old.

Alicia's musical talent started at a young age. She began playing the piano at age 7 to escape the "hood" reality of her environment. She attended Professional Performing Arts High School. She worked with a vocal coach, Jeff Robinson, at the Harlem Police Athletic League Community Center until the age of 16. He became her close friend and, later, her manager. She graduated from high school at 16 and was nominated Valedictorian. Although she was accepted and planned to attend Columbia University, she decided not to in order to further her music career.

She got her first contract with Columbia Records, however, she encontered creative differences with the label. They wanted her to immitate other R&B stars such as Whitney Houston. Clive Davis, then head of Arista records, bought her contract and took her to his new label, J Records. She is still on this record label. Although her passion was always singing, she started off as a writer and a producer. Eventually her time came to shine.

In 2001, her first cd, Songs in a Minor, was released. The first song she ever wrote, when she was 14, was released on that CD (Butterflyz). She wrote all her music and was produced by Kerry "Krucial" Brothers. The following year at the Grammys, she took home 5 awards for Best New Artist, Best R&B Album, Best R&B Song, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, and Song of the Year. From that point on, her music is history. In 2004, Alicia released a book, Tears for Water, that contained poems and lyrics for songs she had wrote. She then used her fame to become a Global ambassador and Co-Founder of the Keep a Child Alive foundation and, eventually, raising over $3 Million to help provide vaccines to families in underdeveloped countries fight HIV/AIDS.

During the time betweeen ten and now, she has released three albums, two of which she has won awards for. Her album inbetween, Unbreakable, was basically a greatest hits album with a couple new songs. Currently, she has released her fifth album, The Element of Freedom, which is no doubt going to be a success just like the rest. She is also planning a return trip to Africa (original in 2002) to raise awareness of the world and 5 (lucky) people. She is also on her freedom tour across the country and will soon be at the Fox Theatre in Detroit, MI.

Alicia's Albums
-Songs in a Minor, 2001
-Diary of Alicia Keys, 2003
-Unplugged, 2005
-As I Am, 2007
-The Element of Freedom, 2009


Alicia's Awards
To date, she has been nominated for over 168 awards and has won a total of 87 awards. She won nine awards in 2001 from her Debut album after being nominated for a total of 11. This doesn't include one specific award show (such as the Grammy's) but all music awards (MTV, Billboard, BET, etc.)

Her Personal Life
Her personal life has been very secretive. There was once a rumor of her being in a relationship with her producer and long time friend Kerry Brothers. She never confirmed nor denied that. She would only state how close of a friend he was to her. Currently, she is dating rapper Swizz Beats, who is currently going through a divorce with his wife MaShonda. There are two different stories going around about the truth of the situation.

I Am Superwoman
Her song off of her album As I Am has lead to an uprise of woman independence awknowledgement. Alicia has created a new webiste dedicated to this. Although the website is not up and running yet, there is a video message from Alicia telling about it.

Her Legacy
Alicia is known as one of the ever decreasing music artists that actually write and compose their own music. She does get help with some of the rhythms but the lyrics are her own work. She turns her poems into music that has a message. This young woman saw what she wanted her life to look like and did everything she could to get there. It wasn't the easiest thing at the time to do, but by doing it, she became a fast rising star. She started off with her love and ended with her passion. From her Hell's Kitchen life to a fabulous one, she fought the fire and rose from the ashes as a star, an idol, and a advicate for AIDs in Africa. Although all of her music doesn't have a grammy behind it, they all have meaning and truth behind them. They have one other thing that is rare, originality. She has an impact in today's black community because she can mangage being a Musician, Writer, Producer, and a Actress and still find time to support a cause that means a lot to her even though it doesn't directly affect her. She speaks of Superwomen in her music when she is being a Superwoman herself through all aspects of her life.

Work Cited:
http://www.aliciakeysbiography.com/

http://www.aliciakeys.com/us/alicia-keys-biography

http://www.people.com/people/alicia_keys/biography

http://people.famouswhy.com/alicia_keys/