|Alicia Keys as Pharrell's Battle Rounds advisor in Season 7|
|Birth name:||Alicia Augello Cook|
|Birthday:||January 25, 1981 (age 36)|
|Birth place:||Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan, New York|
|Genres:||R&B, Soul, Jazz, Hip Hop|
|Occupation:||Singer, Record Producer, Songwriter, Pianist, Actress|
|Associated acts:||Swizz Beatz, Kerry Brothers Jr, Emeli Sandé, Pharrell Williams, Usher, Jack White, Beyoncé, Kendrick Lamar, Jay-Z|
Alicia Augello Cook was born on January 25, 1981, in the Hell's Kitchen area of Manhattan, New York City. She is the only child of Teresa (Augello), a paralegal and part-time actress, and Craig Cook, a flight attendant. Keys' father is African American and her mother is of Sicilian (Sciacca) and either Scottish or Irish descent.
Early life and careerEdit
In 1994, Keys met long-term manager Jeff Robinson after she enrolled in his brother's after-school program. The following year Robinson introduced Keys to her future A&R at Arista Records, Peter Edge, who later described his first impressions to HitQuarters: "I had never met a young R&B artist with that level of musicianship. So many people were just singing on top of loops and tracks, but she had the ability, not only to be part of hip-hop, but also to go way beyond that."
Keys signed a demo deal with Jermaine Dupri and So So Def Recordings, where she appeared on the label's Christmas album performing "The Little Drummer Girl". She also co-wrote and recorded a song titled "Dah Dee Dah (Sexy Thing)", which appeared on the soundtrack to the 1997 film, Men in Black. The song was Keys' first professional recording; however, it was never released as a single and her record contract with Columbia ended after a dispute with the label. Keys was unhappy with the label because her career had stalled during her two years under contract at Columbia due to executive indecision over her direction and major changes within the company. Keys called Clive Davis, who sensed a "special, unique" artist from her performance and signed her to Arista Records, which later disbanded. Keys almost chose Wilde as her stage name until her manager suggested the name Keys after a dream he had. Keys felt that name represented her both as a performer and person.
Keys' first studio album Songs in A Minor was released in June 2001. Musically, it incorporated classical piano in an R&B, soul and jazz album. Debuting at number one on the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 236,000 units, it went on to sell over 6.2 million copies in the United States and 12 million copies internationally. Additionally, it was certified six times Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. Songs in A Minor established Keys' popularity both inside and outside of the United States where she became the best-selling new artist and R&B artist of the year. Songs in A Minor led Keys to win five awards at the 2002 Grammy Awards: Song of the Year, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, and Best R&B Song for "Fallin'", Best New Artist, and Best R&B Album; "Fallin'" was also nominated for Record of the Year. Keys became the second female solo artist to win five Grammy Awards in a single night, following Lauryn Hill at the 41st Grammy Awards.
Keys has gone on to win numerous awards such as 15 Grammy Awards and 17 NAACP Image Awards and has sold over 35 million albums and 30 million singles worldwide.
Keys maintained a low-profile relationship with producer Kerry Brothers Jr. from 2006. Keys then began dating rapper Swizz Beatz (Kasseem Dean) in 2008, who was still in the process of divorcing from his then-wife, singer Mashonda Tifrere. Keys and Dean announced their engagement on May 2010, while expecting their first child. They held a Zulu ceremony to bless the unborn child in the Illovo suburb of Johannesburg, South Africa during the 2010 FIFA World Cup. They were married in July 2010 on the French island of Corsica. Keys gave birth to a son, Egypt Daoud Dean, in October 2010. She gave birth to their second son, Genesis Ali Dean, in December 2014. Keys and Dean reside primarily in Englewood, New Jersey; until 2010 Keys lived in Syosset, New York.