Alicia Keys Biography

Alicia Keys is an American singer who gained fame with her debut album ‘Songs in A Minor’ and has since become one of America’s favorite contemporary singers. With her strong songwriting skills and powerful vocals, she has achieved both commercial success and critical acclaim. In addition to her music career, she has also ventured into television and film.

Quick Facts

  • Nick Name: Lellow
  • Also Known As: Alicia Augello Cook
  • Age: 42 Years, 42 Year Old Females
  • Family:
    • Spouse/Ex-: Swizz Beatz (m. 2010)
    • Father: Craig Cook
    • Mother: Terria Joseph
    • Siblings: Cole Cook
    • Children: Egypt Daoud Dean, Genesis Ali Dean
  • Born Country: United States
  • Quotes By Alicia Keys
  • Ancestry: Jamaican American, Irish American, Italian American
  • Personality: INFPU.S.
  • State: New Yorkers, African-American From New Yorkers
  • Founder/Co-Founder: KrucialKeys Enterprises, Keep a Child Alive
  • Education: Columbia University

Childhood & Early Life

Alicia Keys was born Alicia Augello Cook on January 25, 1981, in New York City, USA, to Teresa and Craig Cook. Her mother was a part-time actress, while her father was a flight attendant. She is of biracial heritage. Her parents separated when she was quite young and was primarily raised by her mother.

Her mother ensured that young Alicia received dance and music lessons. She started learning classical piano when she was seven. She was enrolled at the ‘Professional Performing Arts School’ at the age of 12. She graduated as valedictorian at the age of 16. Following her graduation, she became serious about her musical career and signed a recording contract with ‘Columbia Records.’ Around the same time, she was accepted into ‘Columbia University.’ However, she dropped out of college after a month to pursue her music career.


In 2001, she released her first studio album ‘Songs in A Minor.’ The album caused a sensation soon after its release. It went on to sell over 6.2 million copies in the United States and 12 million copies worldwide, making her an internationally acclaimed singing star.

Her much anticipated second album ‘The Diary of Alicia Keys’ was out in 2003. The album debuted at No. 1 on ‘Billboard 200,’ and sold over 618,000 copies in its first week of release.

Her next album ‘As I Am’ came out in 2007. This album too proved to be a phenomenal success. The album debuted at No. 1 on the ‘US Billboard 200’ chart and became a commercial success worldwide. It spawned super hit singles, ‘No One’ and ‘Another Way to Die.’

She also ventured into films and had a starring role in the 2006 movie ‘Smokin’ Aces.’ The movie also starred Ben Affleck, Jason Bateman, Andy García, and Ray Liotta. She played the role of ‘Georgia Sykes,’ a female contract killer.

Alicia Keys played the role of ‘June Boatwright’ in the 2008 drama film ‘The Secret Life of Bees’ which is based on the story of a 14-year-old girl who is haunted by the memory of her late mother.

In 2009, she released the album ‘The Element of Freedom.’ Characterized by a mid-tempo, low-key sound, the album featured mostly ballads. It was a commercial success and received positive reviews from critics.

Her album ‘Girl on Fire’ was out in November 2012. It was a mixture of conventional songs and piano ballads, with occasional references to marriage and motherhood. Even though the album was a moderate success, its commercial performance was pale in comparison to the earlier albums.

Alicia’s sixth studio album ‘Here’ released in November 2016. The album was a critical success and debuted at number two on the ‘US Billboard 200.’ It explored the social struggles of African-Americans.

She announced her upcoming seventh studio album in May 2017. In 2019, she released two singles titled ‘Show Me Love’ and ‘Time Machine’ from the album. The following year, she released another single titled ‘Underdog.’

Major Works

Alicia Keys’ debut album ‘Songs in A Minor’ catapulted her to overnight stardom and established her as a rising superstar in the musical industry. The album debuted at No. 1 on the ‘Billboard 200’ chart, and sold over 236,000 copies in its first week. It also won her several awards and accolades.

Awards & Achievements

In 2002, Alicia Key�won ‘Grammy Awards’ for ‘Song of the Year’ (Fallin), ‘Best R&B Song’ (Fallin), ‘Best R&B Album’ (Songs in A Minor), ‘Best Female R&B Vocal Performance’ (Fallin), and ‘Best New Artist.’

In 2005, she won four ‘Grammy Awards,’ including the ‘Best R&B Album’ for ‘The Diary of Alicia Keys’ and ‘Best R&B Song’ for ‘You Don’t Know My Name.’

In 2006, she won three ‘NAACP Image Awards,’ including ‘Outstanding Female Artist’ and ‘Outstanding Song’ for ‘Unbreakable.’

In 2014, she received the ‘Grammy Award’ for ‘Best R&B Album’ for ‘Girl on Fire.’

Personal Life & Legacy

Alicia Keys married hip-hop producer Swizz Beatz in July 2010. The couple has two children; a son named Egypt (born in October 2010) and another son named Genesis (born in December 2014).


She is the co-founder and global ambassador of ‘Keep a Child Alive,’ a non-profit organization that provides medicine to families affected by HIV and AIDS in Africa. She also performs regularly in charity concerts to raise funds for several humanitarian causes.

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