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R&B Artist Bio: Alicia Keys

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R&B Artist Bio: Alicia Keys Alicia Keys photo © J Records.

Born & Raised:

Birth name: Alicia Cook.
Born: Jan. 25, 1981 in New York City. Raised in Manhattan, New York.

Personal Life:

On July 31, 2010, Alicia married hip-hop producer Kasseem "Swizz Beatz" Dean on the French island of Corsica. She gave birth to the couple's first son, Egypt Dean, in New York City on Oct. 14, 2010.
She was previously rumored to have been in a relationship with producer Kerry "Krucial" Brothers, who worked on Alicia's first four studio albums.

Early Life:

Alicia was born to an Africa-American man and Caucasian woman. She was raised by her mother, Nikki Augello in the section of Manhattan, New York which was at the time known as Hell's Kitchen. Alicia began piano lessons at the age of 7 at the behest of mother, who was a part-time actress. She went on to attend the Professional Performing Arts School, a prestigious public school for grades 6 through 12 in New York City. Due to her academic excellence, she was able to graduate at age 16 and enrolled at Columbia University on a full scholarship.

Early Career:

Alicia attended Columbia University for about a month, but eventually wound up dropping out in order to focus full-time on a music career. She was signed to Columbia Records while still a teenager and in 1998 recorded an album that wound up being rejected by the label. After being released from her Columbia deal, she signed with Arista Records. When label's head, Clive Davis, left Arista to start his own label called J Records, Alicia followed him there to work on a new debut album. The album was titled Songs in A Minor, a reference to the fact that Alicia recorded all the material while still under the age of 21.

Massive Success:

Led by the phenomenal first single, "Fallin," Songs in A Minor was released in June 2001, a few months after Alicia's 21st birthday. The majority of the material was written, produced and engineered by Alicia herself, and wound up being a huge success. It debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums, selling over 236,000 copies in its first week in stores. It won 5 Grammys and to date, has sold over 6 million copies in the U.S. alone. Alicia has gone on to release several other studio albums, all of which have sold more than a million copies.

Awards:

2010: Best Rap/Sung Collaboration Grammy (with Jay-Z) for "Empire State of Mind."
2008: Best R&B Song Grammy for "No One."
2008: Best Female R&B Vocal Performance Grammy for "No One."
2005: Best R&B Album Grammy for The Diary of Alicia Keys.
2005: Best Female R&B Vocal Performance Grammy for "If I Ain't Got You."
2005: Best R&B Song Grammy for "You Don't Know My Name."
2002: Best New Artist Grammy. 2002: Best R&B Album Grammy for Songs in A Minor.
2002: Song of the Year Grammy for "Fallin."
2002: Best R&B Song Grammy for "Fallin."
2002: Best Female R&B Vocal Performance Grammy for "Fallin."

Discography:

2012: Girl on Fire.
2009: The Element of Freedom.
2007: As I Am.
2005: Unplugged (live album).
2003: The Diary of Alicia Keys.
2001: Songs in A Minor.

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