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Archive for November, 2005

Free iPod Nano / iPod Video

Friday, November 25th, 2005

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Click here to register for your free ipod

Already have an iPod, or just fancy a free digital Camera instead?, or both!? Then click here for the Free Digital Camera offer.

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Alicia Keys: Fights With Mom Helped Songwriting Skills

Friday, November 18th, 2005

Even fighting with one’s mom as a teenage girl can be turned into a positive — to hear Alicia Keys tell it:

“When I was younger, my mother and I, we’d have these crazy, crazy fights. Everyone would storm out mad, and the only way that I’d be able to express myself was to write her. We would write letters back and forth for days.

When I’m writing, I feel uninterrupted. I write what I’m going through and how I see it. And I feel like people can really understand.” The multiple Grammy award-winner says that impassioned communication helped lead her to the songwriting skills that have made her a star. She gives her mother much credit for it all in the wide-ranging interview the artist has in the December issue of Reader’s Digest, which hits stands next week.

Keys also says that, growing up in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen, “I felt very determined very early, very adamant about what I wanted and what I didn’t want. Maybe it was because of my surroundings. I knew immediately I’m not going to be that girl, standing out on the cold corner, trying to make money selling her body.” An audio version of the interview will be available for hearing on

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Alicia Keys tells Matilda Egere-Cooper why multi-platinum albums are not enough for her

Friday, November 18th, 2005

Alicia Keys has struck again. Her latest album, MTV Unplugged, went straight into the US Billboard chart at No 1, making her the first female R&B artist to score a hat-trick of No 1 debuts. “Performing is my thing,” explains Keys. “It just felt like it was absolutely the right time to be able to do a broken-down version of my songs and make them really intimate and personal. I wanted to draw the listener into my world, into my personal, private, intimate location.”

Sitting pretty in a Manhattan hotel, Keys has a curvaceous figure that contrasts sharply with the industry’s usual requirements. Today, she’s wearing her trademark braids, but has recently taken to wearing her hair straight. “I’m definitely not afraid to branch out and try new things, new looks,” she says.

Keys is charming and thoughtful in conversation, and even when admitting she may need a holiday, she leavens the complaint with a megawatt smile. “I haven’t had the greatest life-work balance,” she says. “But I definitely make sure that when I need time to relax or just be with my family, or sit down and do silly things like watch movies, or go bowling or whatever you need to do to relax or unwind, I make sure I take it.”

=> Read more!

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Alicia Keys Rocks Global Health Summit

Tuesday, November 15th, 2005

“Time” magazine hosted a Global Health Summit at Jazz at Lincoln Center, the performance space in Time Warner’s spiffy new headquarters on Columbus Circle in Manhattan.

Speakers at the three-day conference included Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who probably knows more than he wants to about computer viruses. Gates shared the stage with Bill Clinton, and the pair was cleverly referred to as “the Bills”. We carefully studied the list of experts and world leaders on the roster and timed our visits for Virgin Atlantic founder Richard Branson, actress Glenn Close, CNN founder Ted Turner, and Irish rock star Bono, who chimed in via satellite link, twice.

Alicia Keys closed the conference with the Black Ball, a stunning concert fundraiser for Keep a Child Alive, an organization benefiting children with HIV/AIDS. Keys rocked out with John Mayer, who has a great voice and played electric guitar. Pre-show, we spoiled Usher’s surprise by asking what he’d be singing later. “I didn’t even want to tell anybody I was performing, but I guess you guys found out about it”, he told us. (He did a couple of duets with Keys.)

Keys rapped with Common, and sang a cappella with Paul Simon and the Agape Children’s Choir. At one point, a giant monitor flickered, and we heard, “Turn me on, Alicia”, and Bono appeared on the screen. He and Keys sang a song they’d just recorded together that will soon be available for download, with proceeds going to charity.

Whoopi Goldberg and Jeffrey Wright participated, Giorgio Armani sent the outfits, and Jessica Alba, Cynthia Nixon and Natasha Richardson were in the audience.

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Alicia wins another EMA

Friday, November 4th, 2005

Congratz to Alicia for winning the ‘Best R&B’ award at the 2005 MTV Europe Music Awards!!

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Alicia Keys Tops Chart

Tuesday, November 1st, 2005

Alicia Keys’ Unplugged album took the Number One spot this week, selling 196,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The CD, Key’s third release, features guest spots by Common, Maroon 5’s Adam Levine, Mos Def and Damian Marley. Keys knocked Canadian rockers Nickelback from their career high at the top spot: Their fifth effort, All the Right Reasons, sold 170,000 copies to come in second place.

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Alicia Keys: Unplugged and unmatched

Tuesday, November 1st, 2005

Alicia Keys can do no wrong.

OK, maybe she’s not perfect, but Unplugged proves she’s pretty close.

Keys brings the MTV Unplugged series out of retirement with her live album performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in July. By the end, you question why Keys hasn’t gone completely acoustic.

The album reflects this concert atmosphere, with each track seamlessly flowing to the next. The album also creates a sense of intimacy, as if Keys is performing just for you, not just your laptop playing her CD.

Unplugged, because it eliminates instruments requiring cords and electricity, shows off Keys’ raw talent. There is nothing to distract the listener from her voice.

Unplugged features many songs from Keys’ most recent release, Diary. “You Don’t Know My Name” is one stand-out song. The track is cleaned up from its original version, cut to almost half its original length.

“If I Ain’t Got You” has far stronger vocals than the original version, with Keys and her backup singers playing off of each other.

“Heartburn” also is performed on Unplugged. It is probably the low point of the album. A song comparing love to a stomach condition is not a good idea to begin with. Keys seems to be moaning throughout the track.

“Streets of New York (City Life)” also stands out on the album. In the middle of the concert, Keys brings out this song, featuring an array of sounds from city streets, complementing Keys’s spoken word: “Noise, always noise/ Candles burn, lights are low/ I haven’t a place to go/ Life, in its constant state of going nowhere/ Footsteps/ Silence is loud/ Kindness is brave/ Wisdom is long loving is necessary/ I need it/ We need it.”

She effortlessly moves from the depressing spoken word that opens the first few minutes of the track.

Keys also provides a rendition of “Every Little Bit Hurts,” performed by female greats such as Aretha Franklin and Brenda Holloway. Keys’ cover is a success, which makes one wonder, “Why is he so cold to her?”

Two new songs are featured on Unplugged, “Stolen Moments” and “Unbreakable.” The latter discusses couples that are inseparable, such as the Jacksons, Ike and Tina Turner, Oprah Winfrey and Steadman Graham and Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith. The song is entertaining by making numerous pop culture references. “Stolen Moments,” which she co-wrote with Al Green, details a wonderfully romantic relationship that can’t exist.

Part of what makes the album and concert memorable is the guest performers. Adam Levine of Maroon 5 joins Keys on a duet, covering the Rolling Stones’ “Wild Horses.” They are not an obvious choice for a duo, but the performance with piano and sparse percussion is absolutely beautiful and, though “Wild Horses” is more than six minutes long, it never seems drawn out.

“Two of my favorite emcees,” says Keys as she introduces Common and Mos Def, who are featured on “Love it or Leave it Alone.”

These tracks are combined to close out Unplugged, culminating in an energy that leaves you wanting more.

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Alicia Will Perform at AIDS Fundraiser

Tuesday, November 1st, 2005

Alicia Keys will host and perform at a Thursday (Nov. 3) fundraiser for the AIDS charity Keep a Child Alive at New York’s Jazz at Lincoln Center. She will be joined by fellow music heavyweights Usher, Paul Simon, John Mayer and Common at the event, as well as African acts Angelique Kidjo, Baaba Maal, Femi Kuti and the Agape Children’s Choir from Durban, South Africa. is auctioning five tickets that include a pre-show cocktail party and dinner as well as a backstage meet-and-greet. Bidding ends Wednesday.

Keep a Child Alive works to make medicine more readily available to AIDS-afflicted families in Africa and other countries in need.

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