Alicia Keys

10 Keys to Alicia    ·    August 15th, 2002

1. Born: Alicia Augello Cook, 1981, in the rough New York ‘hood of Hell’s Kitchen. Her mother Terri Augello is white, her father Craig Cook is black. She has a half-bro named Cole, age 11.
2. Keys says in her heart she feels black, citing experiences growing up leading her to identify with African-American culture.
3. She began piano lessons at age seven and attended the Professional Performing Arts High School. How Fame is that!
4. Credit Keys’ great vocal chops to voice coach Conrad Robinson of the Harlem Police Athletic League Community Centre on 124th Street. His brother Jeff has been Alicia’s manager for five years.
5. her first record deal was with Columbia records and rumored to be worth $400,000 US. Columbia didn’t hear any hits. Keys wasn’t interested in being another Backstreet Girl. They parted company. Somewhere, right now, a former Columbia exec dives for the “off” button every time keys comes on the radio, TV, Internet, etc.
6. Music biz legend Clive Davis bought out Keys’ contract and set her up at his new J Records label. Davis’ career bio was built on artists deemed “commercially nonviable.” A sampling of his signings: Bruce Springsteen, Janis Joplin, Puffy, and has-been guitarist named Santana.
7. Even with Davis’s clout and an aggressive marketing campaign, “Fallin’” couldn’t get on the radio. Davis circumvented the airwaves and secured Keys a spot on Oprah Winfrey’s TV show. The ploy worked. Requests for Songs in A Minor in the week it was released doubled.
8. Besides winning the five Grammys, Keys took home a Village Voice Music Award, two Billboard Awards, two American Music Awards, two NAACP Image Awards, three Soul Train awards, two World Music Awards, one ECHHO award. Then she turned 21.
9. recently, rumors surfaced about Keys’ sexual orientation. She told the London Sun: “Just ‘cause I don’t wear dresses? Give me a break. Every female has been called gay at one time. That’s just not who I am. I don’t have a problem with anyone who is. “The singer says she’s seeing a 27-year-old guy whose name she’s keeping to herself. Which doesn’t do much to dispel the rumors.
10. Keys founded the KrucialKeys production company with her writing partner Kerry “Krucial” Brothers. Her next CD is due out in mid-’03.
Bonus: She wears size 6 ½ shoes. [Canadian size I dunno US size?]

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