25 Jan Alicia Keys Turns 40
The year was 2001 and we were in the later stages of the teen pop boom that accompanied the new millennium. It was a big year for alternative rock and an even bigger year for Murder Inc. J.Lo was doing her thing as was Destiny’s Child. In the midst of all that came a 20-year-old girl from Hell’s Kitchen who played the piano and sang traditional R&B.
Today, that girl turn 40 years old.
Considering what was happening in popular music circa 2001, Alicia Keys — and in particular, “Fallin’” — was very much an anomaly. However, with the Clive Davis machine behind her, the industry welcomed Alicia with open arms. And of course, critics can’t say no to an instrumentalist.
“Fallin’” would top the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks and was the second-biggest hit of the year. Its parent album, Songs in A Minor, would sell over 12 million copies worldwide and win five Grammys — a record for a female artist at the time.
Over the next decade, Alicia would put out hit album after hit album, and win many more Grammys. She would also earn three more No. 1s on the Billboard Hot 100.
The 2010s weren’t as kind to Alicia, but with a run like had in the preceding decade, her career stands head and shoulders above most. Join me in celebrating this true icon!
Below are my four favorites from Alicia Keys’ catalog.
“Like You’ll Never See Me Again”
“If I Ain’t Got You”
“My Boo” (with Usher)