Music Mondays: Alicia Keys


"Girl On Fire" is certainly an accurate description of Alicia Keys. She's not just an award-winning singer, songwriter, and pianist, she's also a producer, author, actress, philanthropist, wife, and mother. This multifaceted aspect comes through in the video for Alicia's latest single from the album of the same name as she portrays a modern woman with almost superhero abilities. The eye-catching video serves as the perfect platform for the song's powerful chorus and Alicia's incredible voice.

Born Alicia Augello Cook in the Hell's Kitchen area of New York City, the star studied piano at an early age and was influenced by the music of Nina Simone, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Frédéric Chopin, Jay-Z, and Tupac Shakur. Her mother helped the young student stay focused and Alicia ended up attending the prestigious Professional Performing Arts School. She was discovered at age 14 at a Police Athletic League (PAL) by manager Jeff Robinson. Alicia still remained dedicated to her studies, though. She even graduated early at just 16 and wound up with a scholarship to Columbia University. While she tried to juggle both a recording career and higher education, she ended up withdrawing from school after just four weeks to focus squarely on music.

She landed a deal with Clive Davis and her debut album, Songs in A Minor, was released in 2001. A smashing success, Alicia became a sensation and won an incredible five Grammys for her first effort. She followed up her platinum debut with The Diary of Alicia Keys in 2003 and several more critically-acclaimed records. She branched out from the music industry and starred in several films, including Smokin' AcesThe Nanny Diaries, and The Secret Life of Bees. Alicia also appeared on a few TV shows like The Cosby Show when she was just four as well as Charmed and American Dreams after becoming an R&B phenom. She even started her own production company. In addition, Alicia's an accomplished author releasing a collection of poetry and lyrics called Tears for Water. She met her husband Swizz Beatz when the duo collaborated on a song for Whitney Houston. The couple have a baby boy named Egypt Daoud Dean. We're big fans of Alicia's undeniable talent, but we also admire her for proving smart can be cool and for always standing by her artistic vision.

Watch Alicia's video for "Girl On Fire" below before heading over to I AM THAT GIRL’s YouTube channel. While you’re there, don’t forget to tune into our Music Mondays playlist, which is updated every week.

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