Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Alicia Keys

Alicia Augello Cook (born January 25, 1981), better known by her stage name Alicia Keys, is an American R&B and soul singer-songwriter, pianist, cellist and actress. Born in the Hell's Kitchen area of Manhattan in New York, she was raised by her mother and made a television appearance on The Cosby Show in 1985. She attended Professional Performing Arts School and graduated at 16. She later attended Columbia University before dropping out to pursue her music career. Keys released her debut album with J Records, having had previous record deals first with Columbia and then Arista Records.
Keys' debut album, Songs in A Minor, was a commercial success, selling over 11 million copies worldwide. She became the best-selling new artist and best-selling R&B artist of 2001. The album earned Keys five Grammy Awards in 2002, including Best New Artist and Song of the Year for "Fallin'". Her second studio album, The Diary of Alicia Keys, was released in 2003 and was also another success worldwide, selling eight million copies. Keys garnered an additional four Grammy Awards in 2005. Later that year, she released her first live album, Unplugged, where it debuted at number one in the United States. She became the first female to have an MTV Unplugged album to debut at number one and highest since Nirvana in 1994.
Keys made guest appearances in several television series in the following years. She made her film debut in Smokin' Aces (2007) and went on to appear in The Nanny Diaries (2007). Her third studio album, As I Am, was released in same year and sold nearly four million copies in the United States, winning an additional three Grammy Awards. The following year, Keys appeared in The Secret Life of Bees (2008), which earned her a nomination at the NAACP Image Awards. Keys has won numerous awards and has sold over 14 million albums in the United States and 30 million worldwide, establishing herself as one of the best-selling artists of her time.


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