Alicia Keys

Keys stars in movie that parallels singer’s own life    ·    April 21st, 2005

Given all the awards her music has won, maybe Alicia Keys should set aside some space on the mantel in case her film career takes off the same way.

Keys, 24, recently won her sixth through ninth Grammys, including best R&B album for her 2003 release, “The Diary of Alicia Keys.” Her first five Grammys came for “Songs in A Minor,” the singer’s 2001 debut.

Now she’s on a tour before she steps onto a movie set later this year to star in “Compositions in Black and White.” The movie, produced by Halle Berry and adapted from Kathryn Talalay’s book, recounts the life of child piano prodigy Philippa Schuyler. The biracial musician, daughter of black author George Schuyler and white Texas artist Josephine Cogdell, began composing music at age 4 in the 1930s and struggled with prejudice in the United States before achieving international fame in the ’50s.

It’s a story that has obvious parallels to Keys, who began developing her own musical talent at a young age. She started playing piano at age 7, wrote songs as a teen, majored in choir at the Professional Performance Arts School in Manhattan and enrolled in Columbia University at age 16 before dropping out to focus on music.

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