Alicia Keys Is Here And Still On Fire

Alicia Keys as an example of black woman and celebrity stays true to herself as always.

Alicia Augello Cook: this capable and spirited artist was blessed with a first name that is well-suited; it means truth, honesty, and nobility. Born January 25, 1981, Alicia was raised in a single parent home by her mother. Her mother introduced her to music and dance at an early age. The result: she made her television debut on The Cosby Show at four years of age, and began studying classical piano at the age of seven, informing the Urban Magazine.

Being true to her name and God-given purpose comes easy to Alicia. Her generosity of spirit surely propelled her through four years as a student at the Professional Performance Arts School in Hells Kitchen, Manhattan. Graduating at sixteen, she emerged as a multi-talented vocalist and musician. More than a triple threat, she plays several instruments. Aside from being a fierce contralto with a three octave range, Alicia plays the cello, piano, synthesizer, guitar, bass guitar, vocoder and drums.

During the last fifteen years as a platinum R&B musician Alicia Keys has produced several number one singles, fifteen Grammys, five feature films and a book of poetry. She was named best new artist shortly after her debut in 2001. Like her song Girl on Fire, Alicia has been on fire from the start of her career. The best ­selling new artist as well as the best-selling R&B artist of 2001, her debut album- Songs in A Minor was a clear indication of her impending success. She earned five Grammy awards in one night, making her the second American artist to do so. In 2005, she was the first female to have an MTV Unplugged album debut at number one.

Named the top R&B artist of the 2000’s, and number ten on the top 50 R&B/ Hip-Hop artists of the past 25 by Billboard magazine, Alicia’s style surpasses the ordinary. A fusion of contemporary R&B and classic soul rooted in gospel, her background in classical music solidifies her position in the industry as a game changer.

Needless to say, the accolades she has been honored with during her rise to stardom have allowed Alicia Keys to break barriers for both R&B/mixed-genre music and Black women. Never missing the mark, she displays boundless energy with a tireless work ethic. Guileless and raw musical talent display a shining example of what we as magical Black women can accomplish in the industry.

Typical of the lifestyle of a musician, most of what Alicia sings about is rooted in her deeply personal thoughts on love, loss, and female empowerment. Labeled as absent of depth by critics, many fans (more specifically those of the female persuasion) can relate to her lyrics nonetheless. Completely at home in front of a sizeable following, her first love is being centerstage. Always innovative, each performance is a different and exciting experience because she enjoys keeping the display of artistry fresh. A chameleon in her craft, she never disappoints.

As if the talent that Alicia Keys possesses weren’t enough, she has also branched off into philanthropic ventures. Inspired by the AIDS related death of a family friend, she is now the global ambassador of a non-profit named Keep a Child Alive. The organization provides anti-viral medications to families with HIV and AIDS in Africa. Her work promoting the care for children afflicted with the AIDS virus was highlighted in the documentary “Alicia in Africa: Journey to the Motherland” in April 2008.

In an epic affirmation of self-love, Alicia wrote an essay for Lenny (Lena Dunham’s online magazine) in May of this year. In her essay she discusses her decision to brave the path from made-up to bare faced. Like many women, her reasons for wearing make-up were based on admitted insecurities and the fear of being all-natural in public. The catalyst was a desire to live out her purpose and stay true to who she is as a woman. In finding herself, Alicia has torn down the walls of anxiety bred by societal standards of beauty.

 

Alicia: As an attestation to the praiseworthy qualities you exhibit through your music and work overall, it is with the utmost gratitude that we salute you. To say that your brothers and sisters all over the world respect and admire you is but a small token of our appreciation.

In November, Alicia Keys released her album HERE, her sixth studio album. It speaks to the cultural climate of the world, something that we need right now.

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