Alicia Keys Biography

Alicia Keys is a Grammy Award winning American singer who rose to fame with her debut album, ‘Songs in A Minor’. This biography of Alicia Keys provides detailed information about her childhood, life, achievements, works & timeline

Quick Facts

Nick Name: Lellow

Birthday: January 25, 1981

Nationality: American

Famous: Actresses Pianists

Age: 39 Years, 39 Year Old Females

Sun Sign: Aquarius

Also Known As: Alicia Augello Cook

Born in: Hell's Kitchen

Famous as: Singer-songwriter

Height: 5'6" (168 cm), 5'6" Females


Spouse/Ex-: Swizz Beatz

father: Craig Cook

mother: Terria Joseph

siblings: Cole Cook

children: Egypt Daoud Dean

U.S. State: New Yorkers

Founder/Co-Founder: KrucialKeys Enterprises, Keep a Child Alive

More Facts

education: Columbia University, Professional Performing Arts School

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Alicia Keys is a Grammy Award winning American singer who rose to fame with her debut album, ‘Songs in A Minor’, which sold over 12 million copies and established her as an overnight sensation. Not only was her debut album a huge commercial success, it also received much critical acclaim and won her several prestigious awards. Her success continued with the release of her subsequent albums and soon she became one of contemporary America’s most favorite singers. Born as the daughter of a part-time actress, she was exposed to the show business from a young age and was encouraged by her mother to take music and dance lessons. She was just 12 when she enrolled in the Professional Performing Arts School, and by the time she graduated, she had developed strong songwriting skills in addition to her singing talent. At the age of 20 she released her debut album which became an immediate hit which sold millions of copies and earned her positive reviews from the critics. Her subsequent albums too performed well and she proved to the audiences and critics that she was not one-time wonder. Eventually she forayed into television and films as well and has appeared in movies such as ‘Smokin' Aces’ and ‘Dove: Fresh Takes’

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Childhood & Early Life
  • She was born as Alicia Augello Cook on January 25, 1981, in New York City as the only child of Teresa and Craig Cook. Her mother was a part-time actress while her father was a flight attendant. She is of biracial heritage. Her parents separated when she was quite young and she was primarily raised by her mother.
  • Her mother ensured that young Alicia received dance and music lessons. She started learning classical piano when she was seven and enrolled in the Professional Performing Arts School at the age of 12.
  • She graduated as valedictorian at the age of 16. Following her graduation she became serious about her musical career and signed a recording contract with Columbia records. At around the same time she was accepted into Columbia University. However, she dropped out of college after a month to pursue her music career.
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  • In 2001, she released her first studio album, ‘Songs in A Minor’. The album created a sensation immediately upon its release, and went on to sell over 6.2 million copies in the United States and 12 million copies worldwide, making her an internationally popular singing star.
  • Her much anticipated second album, ‘The Diary of Alicia Keys’ was out in 2003. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, selling over 618,000 copies in its first week of release.
  • Her next album ‘As I Am’ came out in 2007 and once again proved to be a phenomenal success. The album debuted at No. 1 on the US Billboard 200 chart and became an international commercial success. It spawned the super hit singles, ‘No One’ and ‘Another Way to Die’.
  • She also ventured into films and had a starring role in the 2006 movie, ‘Smokin’ Aces’ which also starred Ben Affleck, Jason Bateman, Andy García, and Ray Liotta. She played the role of Georgia Sykes, a female contract killer.
  • Alicia Keys played the role of June Boatwright in the 2008 drama film, ‘The Secret Life of Bees’ which is based on the story of a 14-year-old girl who is haunted by the memory of her late mother.
  • In 2009, she released the album, ‘The Element of Freedom’, in which she departed from the classicist soul music that dominated her previous albums. Characterized by a mid-tempo, low-key sound it features mostly ballads. It was a commercial success and received positive reviews from critics.
  • Her album ‘Girl on Fire’ was out in November 2012. It was a mixture of conventional genre songs and piano ballads, with occasional references to marriage and motherhood. Even though the album was a moderate success, its commercial performance was pale in comparison to the earlier albums.
Major Work
  • Her debut album, ‘Songs in A Minor’ catapulted her to overnight stardom and established her as a rising superstar in the musical industry. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, sold over 236,000 copies in its first week, and won her several awards and accolades.
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Awards & Achievements
  • In 2002, she won the Grammy Awards for Song of the Year (‘Fallin’), Best R&B Song (‘Fallin’), Best R&B Album (‘Songs in A Minor’), Best Female R&B Vocal Performance (‘Fallin’), and Best New Artist.
  • She won four Grammy Awards in 2005 including the Best R&B Album for ‘The Diary of Alicia Keys’, and Best R&B Song for ‘You Don't Know My Name’.
  • In 2006, she won three NAACP Image Awards, including Outstanding Female Artist and Outstanding Song for ‘Unbreakable’.
  • In 2014, she received the Grammy Award for Best R&B Album for ‘Girl on Fire’.
Personal Life & Legacy
  • Alicia Keys married hip-hop producer Swizz Beatz in July 2010. The couple has two children.
Net Worth
  • Alicia keys’ estimated net worth is $130 million.
  • She is the co-founder and Global Ambassador of Keep a Child Alive, a non-profit organization that provides medicine to families with HIV and AIDS in Africa. She also performs regularly in charity concerts to raise funds for several humanitarian causes

1. The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete (2013)


2. The Secret Life of Bees (2008)


3. Smokin' Aces (2006)

  (Crime, Drama, Action, Thriller)

4. The Nanny Diaries (2007)

  (Comedy, Drama, Romance)

5. Jem and the Holograms (2015)

  (Music, Drama, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Adventure, Romance)


Grammy Awards
2014 Best R&B Album Winner
2011 Best Rap/Sung Collaboration Winner
2011 Best Rap Song Winner
2009 Best Female R&B Vocal Performance Winner
2008 Best Female R&B Vocal Performance Winner
2008 Best R&B Song Winner
2005 Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group Winner
2005 Best R&B Song Winner
2005 Best R&B Album Winner
2005 Best R&B Vocal Performance - Female Winner
2005 Best Female R&B Vocal Performance Winner
2002 Best R&B Album Winner
2002 Best New Artist Winner
2002 Best R&B Song Winner
2002 Song of the Year Winner
MTV Video Music Awards
2005 Best R&B Video Alicia Keys: Karma (2004)
2004 Best R&B Video Alicia Keys: If I Ain't Got You (2004)
2001 Best New Artist in a Video Alicia Keys: Fallin' (2001)

See the events in life of Alicia Keys in Chronological Order

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- Alicia Keys Biography
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Last Updated
- November 27, 2017
Alicia Keys

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