Alicia Keys

Usher Returns Favor By Appearing On Alicia’s Revised Diary    ·    August 13th, 2004

Usher isn’t the only R&B phenom gearing up to re-release a multiplatinum LP, nor is his reissue going to be the only one featuring his singing. His “My Boo” co-star, Alicia Keys, says she’ll have a new version of The Diary of Alicia Keys out before the year is over.

Keys has already served up the first sounds off the album, sending radio stations a remix of “If I Ain’t Got You” featuring Usher. The two are also being heard together via Usher’s “My Boo”.

“We kind of did an exchange,” she explained. “I reached out to him, he reached out to me, and it just kind of worked so we could come together. It’s cool because both [songs] take us out of our element. ‘If I Ain’t Got You’ ain’t really a traditional Usher song so to speak, but he can absolutely flow on songs like that, and he did a crazy, damn good job. His song takes me out of my element a little bit. It’s good to do that to get a different side of the individual.

” ‘My Boo’ is gonna be on the re-release of his album,” she continued. “And ‘If I Ain’t Got You’ will be available on the re-release of my album. Along with other things on my album, I’m creating some new songs. I also have in the works a live album, which will be really fly. I haven’t done a live album in a long time, and live shows are my thing, so it will be a great album.”

Keys, who is trying to put together a DVD to be released around the same time as the reworked Diary, seems to have all the bases covered musically and is trying to get her feet wet in other aspects of entertainment. The singer is preparing two books, and Halle Berry has linked her name to Keys’ first starring vehicle for Hollywood.

“The movie situation is basically a movie that’s gonna be co-produced by Halle Berry, and it’s about a classical pianist named Philippa Schuyler, who grew up in Harlem and was half black and half white,” Keys said (see “Alicia Keys To Play Biracial Piano Prodigy In First Movie”). “She really went through trials and tribulations of fitting in where she belonged. How can she peruse her love of classical music when people don’t really accept her? It’s really a deep story, so I’m really looking forward to it. It’s still in the process of the script being written. I think this would be an incredible movie to be involved with.”

The untitled Schuyler movie is based on the Kathryn Talalay book “Composition in Black and White: The Life of Philippa Schuyler.” Keys wants to put out a book of her own life story, but not before another work of hers comes out.

“My first book is called ‘Tears for Water,’ I love it,” she cooed. “It’s actually gonna be a collection of my poetry and unreleased lyrics and songs from the albums. It’s also connected with stories about what provoked me to write what you read. It’s very personal and intense and shows a lot of different sides of me. It’s gonna be beautiful, it’s a great first book.

“The follow-up [book] would be more along the diary side and will incorporate my diary entries from when I was 9 all the way up until today,” she continued. “It’s going to be just documenting and following the experience of the desire to want to win and to want to get in a certain place within yourself. That’s something I think everybody can relate to.”

Keys doesn’t have a release date for either of her books, but she said she’ll probably start filming her movie role sometime next year.


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