38 year-old African-American Singer-Songwriter, Musician, Record Producer, Actress and Philantropist, Alicia Augello Cook known professionally as Alicia Keys holds the keys to our blog today. Born to an African-American father and a Sicilian (Agrigento and Sciacca) mother with a Scottish/Irish descent, Keys as you most likely know, is a classically-trained pianist, and has been composing songs since the age of 12.
Signed at 15 years old by Columbia Records, Keys released her first live album, “Unplugged” (2005), and became the first woman to have an MTV Unplugged album debut at number one. The album was commercially successful, producing her first Billboard Hot 100 number-one single “Fallin’”and selling over 12 million copies worldwide. The album earned her five Grammy Awards in 2002. Her third album, “As I Am” (2007), produced the Hot 100 number-one single “No One”, selling 5 million copies worldwide and earning her an additional three Grammy Awards.
From the beginning of her career, Keys has been noted for being a multifaceted talent, as a Singer, Songwriter, Instrumentalist, Arranger, and Producer. Keys has been referred to as the “Queen of R&B” by various media outlets. She has also received numerous accolades throughout her career, including 15 competitive Grammy Awards, 17 NAACP Image Awards, 12 ASCAP Awards, and an award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame and National Music Publishers Association. She has sold over 65 million records worldwide. Considered a musical icon, Keys was named by Billboard as the top R&B artist of the 2000s decade and placed her number 10 on their list of Top 50 R&B/Hip-Hop Artists of the Past 25 Years. VH1 also included her on their 100 Greatest Artists of All Time and 100 Greatest Women in Music lists, while Time has named her in their 100 list of Most Influential People in 2005 and 2017.
She was placed at number 27 on Billboard’s “35 Greatest R&B Artists of All Time” list in 2015. The BET Honors honored Keys for her contributions to music with the Entertainment Award in 2008. In 2009, ASCAP honored Keys with its Golden Note Award, presented “to songwriters, composers, and artists who have achieved extraordinary career milestones.” In 2011, Keys was honored at the Gala celebration of the 40th anniversary of Woodie King Jr.’s New Federal Theatre, as one of “13 individuals that changed the cultural life of our nation”. Also acclaimed for her humanitarian work, philanthropy and activism, Keys Co-Founded and is the Global Ambassador of the nonprofit- Keep a Child Alive. The organization has as its mission, a passion to end AIDS for children and families, by combating the physical, social and economic impacts of HIV.
In 2016, following a resounding article Alicia Keys wrote on Lenny “Time To Uncover” which depicts the struggles and pressures women go through to look a certain way, she vowed to officially “stop covering up” and in the same vein pioneered the #NoMakeUpMovement. She says going off makeup “is the strongest, most empowered, most free, and most honestly beautuful I have ever felt.” The movement has caught on in the social media space and a lot of young women have been inspired to go not just make up free but also live life authentically.
Culled from wikipedia