b. Alicia Augello Cook, 25th January 1981, Manhattan, New York, U.S.A.
Alicia Keys is one of a new breed of R & B vocalists that embrace the more mature sound of soul, blending the new, rather than grasping the 'New R & B', which brings into question the description of that genre.
Born and raised in Manhattan, Alicia was supported by her mother who told her 'You can quit anything else but you can never give up on your piano lessons.'
Alicia attended the Professional Performance Arts School in Manhattan, where she was nurtured by one particular teacher who developed her vocal range to one beyond her years.
At 16 years of age, she graduated and moved to Columbia University, however, her stay at there was short lived and she left to pursue a career in music.
By 1998, she landed a deal at Arista Records with Clive Davis, however, Davis soon left the company and moved to J Records (a label that already had Luther Vandross on their books).
Alicia followed Davis to the label in 1999, where they began work on her debut set, 'Songs In A Minor'.
The subsequent album showcased Alicia's maturing vocal skills and employed soul veteran Isaac Hayes on the track 'Rock Wit U' (popular on the U.K. soul scene).
Released in June 2001, the album sold 50,000 copies on it's release date.
A single release entitled 'Fallin' became a pop hit, whilst Alicia's extra curricular activities involved appearances on movie soundtracks, including 'Shaft' and 'Men in Black'.
A new album, entitled 'Diary Of Alicia Keys', was released in late 2003, followed by 'As I Am' in 2007, and 'The Element Of Freedom' in 2009.
Songs In A Minor (J Records 2001)
Diary Of Alicia Keys (J Records 2003)
As I Am (MBK/J Records 2007)
The Element Of Freedom (MBK/J Records 2009)