Saturday, October 27, 2007
Alicia Keys early life
Alicia Keys (born Alicia J. Augello-Cook on January 25, 1980) is an American R&B and soul singer, songwriter, pianist, record producer, actress, philanthropist, and author who has sold over twenty million albums worldwide and has won numerous awards, including nine Grammy Awards, eleven Billboard Music Awards, and three American Music Awards.
Keys is the only child born to an Irish-Italian mother, Teresa "Terri" Augello (a paralegal and part-time actress), and a Jamaican father, Craig Cook (a flight attendant), in the Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City, New York.
Keys' parents separated during her early childhood, and she was subsequently raised by her mother during her formative years in Hell's Kitchen, also in Manhattan. In 1985, Keys and a group of other girls played the parts of Rudy Huxtable's sleepover guests in an episode of The Cosby Show called "Slumber Party". She began playing the piano when she was seven, learning classical music by composers such as Beethoven, Mozart, and her favorite, Chopin.
Keys graduated from the Professional Performing Arts School, a prestigious high school in Manhattan, as valedictorian at the age of sixteen. Although accepted to Columbia University with a scholarship, she decided to drop out and pursue her musical career. Keys signed a demo deal with Jermaine Dupri and his So So Def label, then distributed by Columbia Records. She co-wrote and recorded a song entitled "Dah Dee Dah (Sexy Thing)", which appeared on the soundtrack to the 1997 blockbuster, Men in Black. The song was Keys' first professional recording; however, it was never released as a single and her record contract with Columbia Records ended quickly. Keys later met Clive Davis, who signed her to Arista Records, which has since disbanded. Following Davis to his newly-formed J Records label, she recorded the songs "Rock wit U" and "Rear View Mirror", featured on the soundtracks to the films Shaft (2000) and Dr. Dolittle 2 (2001) respectively. Keys then released her debut album, Songs in A Minor.
Posted by Saul of the blog at 2:57 AM