Alicia Keys is an American pop star well-known for her hit songs “Folsom Prison Blues” and “Hollywood Nights”. She has also achieved popularity outside the United States. As a child, she had piano lessons and learned to play the keyboard, although it is unclear exactly what she learned. She was also said to be extremely gifted as a singer and musician, drawing considerable attention from musicians and music industry insiders alike.
A native of New York City, Alicia Keys was actually named after the daughter of the city’s most notable family. An avid piano player, Keys first began playing the piano when she was young, and even received piano lessons from her parents. A talented performer on many levels, Alicia Keys spent several years studying music at the Manhattan School of Music, taking six courses a year, as well as participating in various workshops and mentoring programs.
In the mid ’80s, Keys began receiving attention for her vocal ability, and demos and early album tracks appeared in various markets, including the Kinks. After several demos and appearances, “Iris”, which featured backing vocals by Keys and her brother, began to receive interest from agents and record labels. After numerous song submissions and attempts to record with various groups, “Iris” was finally released in early 1988 with several additional singles. The single became one of the biggest hits of the era, as well as one of the biggest hits of all time, reaching number three on the U.S. charts. It eventually went onto attain platinum status and was later certified gold.
With the success of “Iris”, Alicia Keys decided to release a string of singles, with each one charting higher than the previous one. The “hit” that she produced with “Fingers” was another single that became a single that climbed into the top ten on the U.S. charts. When “Etta James” reached the same spot, it became the second best selling single of the decade. The “Etta James” album became just the second album in history to hit number one in both the U.S. and the U.K. After a string of singles that reached the top ten, “Etta James” was the first album to go back to number one in the U.S.
After the success of the “Etta James” album, “I am a Major” was issued, featuring guest spots by Michael Jackson. The single featured Beyonce and was the first single to reach number one in both the U.S. and the U.K. The album also reached the top five in the U.K. While “I am a Major” was certified gold, “Iris” was not. This led to the song becoming one of few singles to ever miss a U.S. Grammys.
Finally, after a slew of chart-topping singles, “Lemonade” debuted at number one, setting a record for the most consecutive charted songs in a single week. This set a record for the most weeks a track has spent at number one, as well as the most consecutive weeks at number one. This ensured that Keys would be in position to claim the Grammys for this year’s Album of the Year. She will most likely retain this honor, but only time will tell.