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Archive for January, 2006

Alicia Keys’ New Album Strange As Hell

Sunday, January 29th, 2006

Alicia Keys is getting back to her music, but it’s not just the same old music.

Will audiences be falling for the new Alicia Keys album?

The New York pianist-chanteuse is hard at work on her third studio album, which she promises will “have a lot of political elements” and be “edgier,” according to Billboard.com.

Keys, who was last in the news for her duet with U2, “Don’t Give Up (Africa),” a benefit song for the Keep A Child Alive charity, says she’d love to work with bands like Queens of the Stone Age and the “thought-provoking” John Mayer.

“I have a lot of strange ideas and brainstorms,” Keys told Billboard. On her 2005 live album Unplugged, which sold more than a million copies, Keys dueted with Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine on a cover of the Rolling Stones’ Wild Horses, which sources say she may reprise in the studio.

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Happy Birthday Alicia!

Wednesday, January 25th, 2006

http://www.australicia.com/AKFbirthday/index.html

From all the fans here at Alicia Keys Fan [dot] com, we would like to wish Miss Alicia Keys a very Happy 25th Birthday!

At the following page, you can view some birthday messages to Alicia from our members at the AKF.com Forum.


[click on image]

If you would like to add a message to Alicia’s online birthday card, click here to find out how.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALICIA! [from all your fans at AliciaKeysFan.com]

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Keys Craves ‘Strange As Hell’ Collaborations

Tuesday, January 24th, 2006

Amid new ventures in film and television, Alicia Keys is writing new material for her third studio album. Though she has yet to record any tracks, the singer is looking to experiment and expand her musical style this time around.

“I definitely see the album being a little bit edgier,” Keys tells Billboard.com. “I feel like it’s going to have a lot of political elements to it as well and be a bit more guitar-driven. The sound is definitely going to be different, but obviously the heart and soul of it is always going to remain consistent.”

Keys’ next album will be her fourth for J and the follow-up to her 2005 live set, “Unplugged,” which has sold more than 1 million copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Her 2004 sophomore effort, “Diary of Alicia Keys,” has sold 4.4 million to date.

On “Unplugged,” Keys collaborated with Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine on a cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Wild Horses,” and on the new album, she is hoping to work with more acts outside the R&B and hip-hop worlds. “I’d love to do some writing with John Mayer,” she says. I think that as a songwriter, he’s very thought-provoking.”

“I’d also like to do something that’s really out there, with like Queens Of The Stone Age or White Stripes, something just strange as hell, unexpected and interesting,” she adds. “I always like to collaborate with one or two special folks that just take it to a new place. I have a lot of strange ideas and brainstorms.”

Keys recently recorded three songs, including the title cut and a cover of the Impressions’ “People Get Ready” with Lyfe Jennings, for the soundtrack to “Glory Road.” The film chronicles the 1966 Texas Western men’s basketball team, which featured the first all-African American starting lineup.

“Even though I was telling myself I wasn’t going to commit to anything because I wanted to take some time off, I was so moved by [the movie] and I really wanted to be involved,” says Keys. “Beyond color, beyond being a black or white thing, it was just a human story about struggle and about overcoming when it seems the toughest.”

On the production front, Keys is continuing to scout and develop talent with her business partner, songwriter/producer Kerry “Krucial” Brothers, for their company, KrucialKeys. As previously reported, Brothers is working on his own solo rap debut. “It’s all about bringing forth new artists and young artists that are fresh and have something to offer,” says Keys. “A lot of positive and wonderful experiences are coming up in the future.”

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Alicia Keys Nearly Spills Secrets To Jane

Sunday, January 22nd, 2006

Alicia Keys has been notoriously quiet about her private life — causing some to speculate about a variety of possible romantic entanglements. But in a February cover story for Jane magazine, the reticent singer comes closest to revealing who she’s involved with and what her plans for the future are.

For starters, despite claiming otherwise in the past, Keys came clean to Jane about Keys not being her real last name. Her mother’s last name was Augello, her father’s was Cook, and Alicia almost picked Wilde as her nom de R&B when she was 16. But her manager suggested “Keys” after a “crazy dream” he had about needing to unlock a briefcase.

“I was like, ‘Keys? I play the piano keys, and keys unlock doors. Wow, that’s perfect.’ It described me, what I loved to do, what I wanted to do,” she told the mag. “I believe in names. I believe your name definitely reflect your future.”

Then is there something to read into how her main collaborator, New York MC and producer Kerry “Krucial” Brothers, whom she’s known since she was a teenager, formed a company with her called Krucial Keys? About how that reflects both their futures?

“Kinda like he took her last name,” Jane points out.

Keys acknowledged that she’s been with the same person for quite some time now, and that she sees herself as being with that same person when she starts a family. Is that person Krucial, Jane asked point blank?

“Well. Well … You know, I have to say, the person I’m with is really special,” Keys said after smiling playfully. “And I’m lucky because when I go out with friends to parties, I say to myself, ‘Self, what in the hell would you do if you didn’t have somebody who loved you?’ I mean, really. I look at these guys and it’s like, ‘Who are you? What do you even think about and what are you representing? Do you even know me? And do you want to know me or … ?’ It’s scary. And I think about how uncomfortable I would feel trying to find love among so much falseness. So I feel very, very, very blessed to have someone so special to me. Someone who I know cares about me. That’s what it’s about. I’m pretty lucky.”

Jane’s writer responded, “I’m taking that as a yes.”

This doesn’t necessarily mean Keys is raring to get married — she explained that she doesn’t want a husband or a baby before she’s 30. “I want to live my life,” Keys said. “I want to give myself the opportunity to grow as a woman and as someone creative.”

That includes making a pilgrimage to Africa with the organization Keep a Child Alive to visit orphanages filled with kids suffering from AIDS, winning an Oscar to keep her Grammys company, finishing college, writing more books, scoring a film, and establishing the next Motown with Krucial Keys.

“We created this sound, and this sound is what the world is falling in love with when they hear my music,” she said of her partnership with Brothers. “We’re like a Motown, where it’s all inclusive. And you come to one place. We have our studio, we have our writers, we have our producers, we have everything you need to come to one place and create timelessness.”

After accomplishing all these and other goals, “I’ll be ready to start a family. When I’m 35.”

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Alicia Keys forms production company

Wednesday, January 18th, 2006

After conquering the world of music, Alicia Keys is expanding into movie and television production.

Keys, 24, and her longtime manager, Jeff Robinson, said last week they have formed a company whose first project will be a UPN TV series inspired by Keys’ experiences as a biracial youngster growing up in New York.

“A lot of times I watch TV and I watch film and there’s so many things I’d love to talk about that I feel don’t get the opportunity to be shown,” Keys said. “Sometimes things become very stereotypical and one-sided, and I feel like it’s such a colorful world.”

Their company, New York-based Big Pita, Lil’ Pita, will provide “the opportunity to expose that array,” Keys said.

She’s also intent on developing projects that give women their due, she added.

“I was mostly raised by very strong women, and I consider myself one as well. So I’d like to see things explore that and see that strength shine through,” she said.

Keys, a singer, songwriter and musician, was born to a white mother and black father. Her parents split when she was 2, and she was raised in the Hell’s Kitchen area of New York by her mom, Terri Augello.

The new company’s eye-catching name has a special meaning for Keys and Robinson, who have worked together for more than a decade: “Pita stands for pain in the ass,” Keys said. “That’s what he and I both are — so watch out.”

The two will serve as executive producers for their untitled TV drama, which has a script commitment from UPN and which Robinson said may be on the air by next fall. The pilot, not yet cast, will be written by Felicia Henderson (”Soul Food,” “Moesha”).

Keys is making her film acting debut in the upcoming “Smokin’ Aces,” which stars Ben Affleck and Andy Garcia.

Asked about movies their company will produce, Robinson and Keys declined to provide details.

“I couldn’t give away all my secrets,” Keys said in her trademark husky tones. But she said the films will be “the most thrilling” aspect of the company’s work.

The goal is to create projects she’s proud of, Keys said — and some with juicy roles for her.

“One of the great parts of being able to produce your own movie is to come up with a story that you find interesting. … You don’t have to wait for someone to tell you what they think” you should do, she said.

She labeled herself a “very independent person. People do tend to call me a control freak, and I will gladly say that I am, in a good way. I’m totally involved in what I do.”

Keys began playing piano when she was 7, with dance and voice lessons following. She studied at the Professional Performance Arts School in New York, graduating at 16 and studying at Columbia University briefly before deciding to devote herself full-time to music.

Her first album, “Songs in A Minor,” debuted atop the Billboard chart in 2001 when she was 20.

With nine Grammy Awards to her name, Keys is nominated for five more at next month’s ceremony, including best R&B album for “Unplugged.”

She vowed that her music won’t suffer as she expands into new areas.

“I’m a juggler by nature, that’s how I’ve always been. My dream is to be part of a multitude of things. … These activities feed back into my music, my music feeds back into these activities.”

Asked about her next album, she said: “It’s bubbling. I’m very excited about it.”

Robinson, president of MBK Entertainment, attests to Keys’ ability to handle a heavy load.

“Alicia is a very energetic workaholic. She’s always thinking. We’re always feeding ideas off each other — which generates huge cellphone bills, by the way,” Robinson said.

“I’m constantly telling her to slow down, let’s not conquer the world in one day. But she wants to do it all.”

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Alicia Keys’ Early Years To Be Made Into A TV Series

Friday, January 13th, 2006

http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1520667/20060112/keys_alicia.jhtml?headlines=true

Everybody hates Chris, but everybody loves Alicia — at least, that’s what UPN hopes. The channel just signed a development deal with Alicia Keys to create a show based on her childhood, as it did with comedian Chris Rock for the hit sitcom “Everybody Hates Chris.”

Keys’ show wouldn’t be a comedy, but rather an hour-long drama, according to UPN. The project would be loosely based on Keys growing up in a multiracial family (her mother is Irish-Italian, and her father is Jamaican).

UPN hasn’t pinpointed which stage in Keys’ young life the show will focus on, nor does the network have an actress in mind to play her. The script is being written by Felicia Henderson (”Soul Food,” “Moesha,” “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”), who will executive produce along with Keys and her manager, Jeff Robinson. There’s no timetable to shoot the pilot, UPN said, though it’s possible it could be ready by next season.

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Gallery Update

Friday, January 13th, 2006

http://4images.aliciakeysfan.com/categories.php?cat_id=183

Visit the AKF.com Gallery to see photos of Alicia’s recent appearance on MTV’s TRL.

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Alicia Keys, Mariah Carey, Kanye West Top NAACP Image Awards Noms

Friday, January 13th, 2006

http://www.hiphoprnbsoul.com/web/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=871

Alicia Keys, Mariah Carey and Kanye West all lead this year’s group of contenders for the 37th Annual NAACP Image Awards with four nominations each. Set for taping Feb. 25, the ceremony will be aired Mar. 3 on Fox.

The ceremony, scheduled to be taped in Los Angeles, will see legendary guitarist Carlos Santana inducted into the NAACP Image Awards Hall of Fame.

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Gallery Update!

Sunday, January 8th, 2006

Check out the AKF.com image gallery to see the latest updates.

Glamour Magazine Photo Shoot
Esquire Photo Shoot
InStyle Photo Shoot
VH1 Save the Music Concert
2005 MTV VMA’s
2005 BET Awards
‘My Boo’ Music Video Shoot


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Alicia Keys hits the right acting notes

Saturday, January 7th, 2006

Though Ryan Reynolds had his doubts about working with Alicia Keys in Joe Carnahan’s recently wrapped “Smokin’ Aces,” he says the singer has much stronger film chops than he expected.
“Going in you’re thinking, ‘Oh, God, this is going to be tough. Am I going to have to slow down so they can keep up?’ But that wasn’t the case at all,” he lets us know. “I’m surprised she hasn’t done a movie before because she’s so natural. She’s going to blow everybody away.”

The action comedy, which also includes Ben Affleck, Andy Garcia, Don Cheadle and Jeremy Piven, is “about a Mafia, Vegas-showman kind of guy who ends up in Tahoe and is about to become a witness in a federal case against the mob,” explains Reynolds. “I’m the FBI agent with Ray Liotta, who’s assigned to go get him and bring him back alive - but at the same time there are eight different assassins that are all converging on the same hotel suite in Tahoe.”

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Alicia at the ‘Glory Road’ premiere

Friday, January 6th, 2006

Alicia Keys Glory Road

Click the image to view the full set =)

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Alicia Keys basking in ‘Glory’ at LA premiere

Friday, January 6th, 2006

http://www.hellomagazine.com/film/2006/01/06/gloryroad/

Soul diva Alicia Keys proved that her vocal talents aren’t her only stunning feature when she took to the red carpet in Los Angeles on Thursday. The 24-year-old made light work of stealing the show when she turned out for a movie premiere dressed in a figure-hugging, off-the-shoulder creation.

The New York native, who recently stormed the charts with her Unplugged album, was among the big names who turned out to support John Voight’s new basketball flick Glory Road. And it seems likely she will be turning heads at another glitzy screening before too long, as the critically-acclaimed performer is set to make her big screen debut.

Alicia plays the female lead in the action comedy Smokin’ Aces, which also features Hollywood heart-throbs Ben Affleck and Andy Garcia. Co-star Ryan Reynolds confessed to having some doubts about working with the pretty songstress, but he now reckons she has what it takes to become a major movie star.

“Going in you’re thinking ‘Oh god, this is going to be tough. Am I going to have to slow down so they can keep up’,” he explained. “But that wasn’t the case at all. I’m surprised she hasn’t done a movie before because she’s so natural. She’s going to blow everybody away.”

Alicia

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