Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys (born Alicia Augello Cook) was born on January 25, 1981, in New York. Her father, Craig Cook, is a flight attendant while her mother Teresa is a paralegal and actress.

Alicia started to write songs at the age of 14. She attended Professional Performing Arts School and became a student of Columbia University, but dropped out of it after four weeks in order to proceed with her career as she had already signed a contract with Columbia Records. Her first professionally recorded song was “Dah Dee Dah (Sexy Thing)”, which became a soundtrack to “Men in Black” (1997). After her contract with Columbia Records was expired, Alicia got acquainted with Clive Davis, who first signed her to Arista Records and later to his own company “J Records”.

In 2001, Alicia Keys released her debut album “Songs in A Minor”, which became very successful. The same year, she was called the best-selling new artist and best-selling R&B artist of the year. This album also brought the singer five Grammy awards for Song of the Year, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, Best R&B Song for “Fallin’”, Best New Artist and Best R&B Album. Thus, Keys became the second female solo artist, who won five Grammy Awards at the same time.

In 2007, she tried her hand at acting. Her debut movies are “Smokin’ Aces” and “The Nanny Diaries”. In 2008, she recorded a soundtrack to “Quantum of Solace” together with The White Stripes’ guitarist and vocalist Jack White. Song “Another Way to Die” became the first duet in Bond soundtrack history. In 2009, the singer got an award from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, which is given to artists “who have achieved extraordinary career milestones”.

Since 2010, Keys is married to Swizz Beatz. They have two sons.