The Diary of a Diva (Livin My Life at the Crossroads Book 1)

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This is the same woman who taught you about life, generosity, kindness, and above all, the sacrifices that need to be made in order to survive. I come from a long line of…. Every morningthe worldis created. Under the orange sticks of the sunthe heapedashes of the nightturn into leaves again and fasten themselves to the high branches —and the ponds appearlike black clothon which are painted islands of summer lilies. If it is your natureto be happyyou will swim away along the soft trails for hours, your imaginationalighting everywhere.

I am sure you are all familiar with that annoying sensation of not knowing whether you are coming or going? This is an expression that has bothered me for decades because I never know what the point of reference is. What am I coming to? What am I coming back to? Why am I coming back? The few words spoken in Yiddish are badly mispronounced, including the name of the battered Rokhl Leah.

Even the Yiddish in the playbill is full of errors. In order to heighten the illusion of an essential Jewishness at odds with an essential Russianness, the Jewishness has to ring true. There can be no universal meaning without the language of specifics. Home Give Share Search Subscribe. Email Facebook Twitter. Give Advertise Subscribe. Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email. Share This:. Send to. Add a message.

From a young age, Alicia struggled with self-esteem issues, "hiding" little by little when her differences made her vulnerable to judgement, and later uninvited sexual attention. I think it makes you realise right away what you want and what you don't want", Keys said. Keys attributed her unusual maturity as a young girl to her mother, who depended on her to be responsible while she worked to provide for them and give Keys as many opportunities as possible.

Keys loved music and singing from early childhood. She recalled her mother playing jazz records of artists like Thelonious Monk , Billie Holiday , Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong on Sunday mornings, early musical moments Keys considers influential in kindling her interest in and emotional connection to music.

The scene in the film where Tom Hanks 's character listens to opera on a record player notably affected Keys, who "never showed emotion very well". Keys' mother had encouraged her to participate in different extracurricular activities, including music, dance, theater, and gymnastics, so she could "find her muse". Before her 13th birthday, she expressed to her mother that she was too overwhelmed and wanted to disengage, at which point her mother took some time off with her and encouraged her to keep focusing on piano.

That type of studying, that type of discipline Keys enrolled in the Professional Performing Arts School at the age of 12, where she took music, dance, and theater classes and majored in choir. Keen on dissecting music, Keys continued developing her songwriting and finding her own 'flow and style" through her exploration of the intricacies in different music. Keys spent more time in Harlem during her teenage years. She connected with the cultural and racial diversity in the neighborhood, where she expanded upon her musical exploration, and her character was also solidified.

In , manager Jeff Robinson met year old Keys, who participated in his brother's youth organization called Teens in Motion. At the time, Keys was part of a three-girl band that had formed in the Bronx and was performing in Harlem. He was soon taken by Keys, her soulful singing, playing contemporary and classical music and performing her own songs. Impressed by her talents, charisma, image, and maturity, Robinson considered her to be the "total package", and took her under his wing. Robinson wanted Keys to be informed and prepared for the music industry, so he took her everywhere with him, including all the meetings with attorneys and negotiations with record labels, while the teenager often became disgruntled with the process.

Edge later described his first impressions of Keys to HitQuarters :. I remember that I felt, upon meeting her, that she was completely unique. So many people were just singing on top of loops and tracks, but she had the ability, not only to be part of hip-hop , but also to go way beyond that. She's a very accomplished musician, songwriter and vocalist and a rare and unique talent. Robinson and Edge helped Keys assemble some demos of songs she had written and set up a showcases for label executives. Records , to work at Clive Davis ' Arista Records. Keys was also finishing high school, and her academic success had provided her opportunity for scholarship and early admission to university.

She often stayed away from home, and wrote some of the most "depressing" poems of her life during this period. Keys decided to drop out of college after a month to pursue music full-time. Columbia Records had recruited a team of songwriters, producers and stylists to work on Keys and her music. They wanted Keys to submit to their creative and image decisions. Keys "hated" the experience of writing with the people Columbia brought in. And it's crazy. And it's very difficult to understand and handle", she said.

I started figuring, 'Hey, nothing's worth all this. I had to do it more with myself, with the people that I felt comfortable with or by myself with my piano. And the rest was watching people work on other artists and watching how they layer things". Her friend Kerry Brothers Jr. She was "going through a lot" with herself and with her mother, and she "needed the space"; "I needed to have my own thoughts, to do my own thing. Around this time the album "started coming together", and she composed and recorded most of the songs that would appear on her album.

My confidence was up, way up. Keys brought her songs to the executives, who rejected her work, saying it "sounded like one long demo". They wanted Keys to sing over loops, [32] and told Keys they will bring in a "top" team and get her "a more radio-friendly sound". Keys would not allow it; "they already had set the monster loose", she recalled. Keys had wanted to leave Columbia since they began "completely disrespecting [her] musical creativity". I thought I'd have to start over again just to get out, but I didn't care.

That's not how it's going to go down. My only familiarity with [Keys] was that I had asked for any visuals and material on her, so, of course, I was blown away. I saw a panel show she had done on TV. I had heard some cuts she had been recording, and I honestly couldn't believe she could be free. She was still under contract. I left that to her.

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It took a few months before I got the call that she was able to get out of her contract and enter into one with us. After hearing some of her songs, Davis thought Keys had "a very natural talent as a songwriter and a vocalist, sufficient to warrant a personal meeting She came across then, from that very first meeting, the way she comes across today, which is really as a young Renaissance woman of enormous musical talent, but really matured way beyond her young years. When I saw her sit down and play the piano and sing, it just took my breathe Everything about her was unique and special.

Robinson and Keys, with Davis' help, were able to negotiate out of the Columbia contract and she signed to Arista Records in late And I think he somehow knew that and saw that in me and really just let me find that. She felt that name embodied her both as a performer and person. Dolittle 2 , respectively. In , Davis was ousted from Arista and the release of Keys' album was put on hold. Later that year, Davis formed J Records and immediately signed Keys to the label.

He understood that she wants to be herself and not "made into what somebody else thinks I should be. Keys played small shows across America, performed at industry showcases for months and then on television. Urban might feel she's too traditional", and as he felt Keys was a "compelling, hypnotic performer" best experienced in person, he had Keys perform her music to different crowds in different places to spread the word.

Arie perform on her show to promote new women in music. What could have been a recipe for disaster She has set out her own vision. That's the way it is for artists of her ilk They don't try to fit in. They try to establish their own paths Songs in A Minor , which included material that Columbia Records had rejected, was released on June 5, , [37] [35] to critical acclaim.

Songs in A Minor debuted on the Billboard chart at number one, selling , in its first week at retail. The album's fourth single " Girlfriend " was released in the United Kingdom where it peaked at The album debuted at number one on the Billboard , selling over , copies its first week of release, becoming the largest first-week sales for a female artist in The title derived from one of her poems, "Love and Chains" from the line: "I don't mind drinking my tears for water. Simply titled Unplugged , the album debuted at number one on the U.

Billboard chart with , units sold in its first week of release. Keys and Brothers are the co-founders of KrucialKeys Enterprises, a production and songwriting team who have assisted Keys in creating her albums as well as creating music for other artists.


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Her grandmother had died and her family was heavily dependent on her. She felt she needed to "escape" and went to Egypt for three weeks. She explained: "That trip was definitely the most crucial thing I've ever done for myself in my life to date. It was a very difficult time that I was dealing with, and it just came to the point where I really needed to—basically, I just needed to run away, honestly.

And I needed to get as far away as possible. Keys received much praise from her co-stars in the film; Ryan Reynolds called her "so natural" and said she would "blow everybody away. Keys released her third studio album, As I Am , in November ; it debuted at number one on the Billboard , selling , copies in its first week. It gained Keys her largest first week sales of her career and became her fourth consecutive number one album, tying her with Britney Spears for the most consecutive number-one debuts on the Billboard by a female artist.

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From October 27, , when "No One" reached No. The premiere celebrated the launch of new Dove Go Fresh. In an interview with Blender magazine, Keys allegedly said "' Gangsta rap ' was a ploy to convince black people to kill each other, 'gangsta rap' didn't exist" and went on to say that it was created by "the government". She apologized after discovering that the concert was sponsored by the firm and asked for "corrective actions".

In response, the company withdrew its sponsorship. She subsequently co-wrote and produced the single " Million Dollar Bill " with record producer Swizz Beatz. The song was a commercial and critical success, topping the Billboard Hot , becoming her fourth number-one song on that chart. Keys released her fourth studio album, The Element of Freedom , in December The song became the album's most successful single; Keys eighth number one on the chart; [] and Key's first number one song in five years. In May , a representative for Keys and Swizz Beatz confirmed that they were engaged and expecting a child together.

In June , Songs in A Minor was re-released as deluxe and collector's editions in commemoration of its 10th anniversary. Keys is also set to co-produce the Broadway premiere of Stick Fly , which was scheduled to open in December It is a documentary of five episodes that tell stories of five women who were victims of breast cancer and how it affected their lives. The first was a song titled " New Day ". Dre and Keys. In September , Keys collaborated with Reebok for her own sneakers collection. Heins announced that Keys would be the company's new Global Creative Director.

In January , BlackBerry said it will part ways with Keys at the end of that month. In November, the song was extracted as the second single from Giorgia's album Senza Paura and has been marketed in digital stores worldwide. On September 8, , Keys uploaded the music video to a new song called " We Are Here " to her Facebook page, accompanied by a lengthy status update describing her motivation and inspiration to write the song.

Keys was also working with Pharrell Williams on her sixth studio album, first set for a release. In September , Swizz Beatz stated that Keys' sixth studio album will be released in She first appeared in the episode "Sinned Against", which aired November 25, On May 4, , Keys released her first single in four years, entitled " In Common ". The film is a reimagining of the refugee crisis as taking place in the United States.

The performance was televised by BET on November 3, In May , in an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Keys announced that she was working on her seventh studio album, therefore she did not return for the thirteenth series of The Voice. She placed in second place with her team member, Britton Buchanan. She will not return for the upcoming fifteenth season of The Voice. This was Keys' first time being the master of ceremonies for Music's Biggest Night. From the beginning of her career, Keys has been noted for being a multifaceted talent, as a singer, songwriter, instrumentalist, arranger, and producer.

The Times wrote that Keys' debut album, Songs in A Minor , "spoke from a soul that seemed way beyond its years", and her follow up, The Diary of Alicia Keys , "confirmed her place in musical history". Not only was she mean on the ivories, but she showed true musicianship, writing and performing her material", and Keys continued developing her artistry with subsequent albums.

Keys is also distinguished for being in control of her artistic output and image and having fought for creative independence since getting signed at 15 years old. Keys has been praised for her expressive vocals and emotive delivery. In a review of Songs in A Minor , Jam! Keys' lyrical content has included themes of love, heartbreak, female empowerment, hope, her philosophy of life and struggles, inner city life experiences, and social and political commentary.

Journalist Christopher John Farley wrote: "Her musicianship raises her above her peers. She doesn't have to sample music's past like a DJ scratching his way through a record collection; she has the chops to examine it, take it apart and create something new and personal with what she has found" in Alicia became an avatar for millions of people, always remaining true to herself" in The New York native's message of female empowerment and her authentic songwriting process have made her an inspiration for women and aspiring creatives worldwide. NMPA president David Israelite wrote about Keys: "She's a songwriter icon, but she is also an icon of confidence and encouragement to all.

Through her writing, performing, philanthropy, mentoring and advocacy for fair compensation for her fellow songwriters, she is a true force for good in our industry and beyond". Rolling Stone wrote that Keys was "something new" in contemporary popular music, "bridging the generation gap" with "hip-hop swagger, an old-school soul sound and older school as in Chopin piano chops. Not only was she mean on the ivories, but she showed true musicianship, writing and performing her material".

Keys transcends genres, The Recording Academy also stated, incorporating her "classical background into her music and including gospel, jazz, blues and vintage soul, rock, and pop influences", and she is "one of the most respected musicians of today. Keys is listed on the Recording Industry Association of America 's best-selling artists in the United States, selling over She discovered first-hand the extensive impact of the AIDS epidemic years later on a visit to South Africa, a trip that was the impetus to cofounding Keep a Child Alive.

Keys and Leigh visited South African clinics with HIV-infected mothers and children, where Keys encountered the lack of resources and education on the disease present in the communities. Their version of the song was retitled "Don't Give Up Africa " to reflect the nature of the charity it was benefiting. In , Keys performed in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania, as part of the worldwide Live 8 concerts to raise awareness of the poverty in Africa and to pressure the G8 leaders to take action.

She was one of the key speakers, and said, "we want the best for all Americans. No hate, no bigotry, no Muslim registry. We value education, health care, equality. Keys also sang a version of her hit song " Girl on Fire ". With more than music on her mind, Keys visited African countries such as Uganda, Kenya and South Africa to promote care for children affected by AIDS and to help raise money and build a clinic that offered not only beds and medicine, but legal aid, microcredit and women's empowerment groups.

It also provided much-needed employment opportunities to the community. In , the Producer's Guild of America honored Keys at its "Digital Leaders in Emerging Entertainment" awards, which recognizes "individuals or teams who have made exceptional contributions to the advancement of digital entertainment and storytelling.

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In , Keys received and shared the award for the Ambassador of Conscience from Amnesty International alongside Canadian Indigenous rights activists. The award is bestowed on activists "who have stood up to injustice, inspired others and furthered the cause of human rights", showing "exceptional leadership and courage in championing human rights". Amnesty said that Keys "has used her career and platform as a time Grammy award-winning artist to inspire and campaign for change Both Alicia Keys and the Indigenous rights movement of Canada have in their own ways made inspirational and meaningful contributions to advancing human rights and towards ensuring brighter possibilities for future generations.

Crucially, they remind us never to underestimate how far passion and creativity can take us in fighting injustice. Keys and her husband, Kasseem Dean professionally known as Swizz Beatz are also avid art collectors. Keys and Dean are co-chairs of the Gordon Parks Foundation, which permanently preserves the work of Gordon Parks , the pioneering photographer, filmmaker, musician and activist.

Keys had a low-profile relationship with her long time friend and collaborator Kerry Brothers Jr. Keys and Beatz, who have known each other since they were teenagers, [] announced they were engaged and expecting their first child in May From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. American singer-songwriter, musician and music producer. New York City , U. Musician singer songwriter record producer philanthropist actress poet. Swizz Beatz m. Vocals keyboards piano.

I grew up in the middle of everything.

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I walked the streets alone, I rode the trains alone, I came home at three in the morning alone, that was what I did. As hard as [growing up in it was], I always felt very blessed about being able to recognize different cultures and styles, people and places. I feel like the concrete alone just gave me a certain drive. I really saw everything: every negative I could possibly see from the time I could walk until now; and also every positive, every bright future, every dream that I could possibly see.

So growing up around this big dichotomy definitely influenced my music. Classical piano totally helped me to be a better songwriter and a better musician I knew the fundamentals of music.

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And I understood how to put things together and pull it together and change it. The dedication that it took to study classical music is a big reason why I have anything in this life I think.

It opened a lot of doors because it separated me from the rest. See also: List of awards and nominations received by Alicia Keys. Main article: Alicia Keys discography. Main article: List of Alicia Keys tours. The Times. London: News UK. Retrieved July 5, CBS News. February 13, The Guardian. November 1, Retrieved April 17, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Block Communications. Retrieved November 22, China Daily. China Daily Group. September 7, Archived from the original on December 8, Retrieved December 16, Abbey, ed. Star Tribune. Retrieved November 13, A lot of people believe I'm part Jamaican, though I'm not.

I'm definitely black and Italian and a little Irish or Scottish. La Sicilia in Italian. Retrieved May 26, March 9, Retrieved June 1, December 1, Retrieved August 21, Archived from the original on February 24, Retrieved January 24, O, The Oprah Magazine. September Retrieved May 28, American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. June 1, Archived from the original on May 30, Retrieved May 29, Huffington Post.

USA Today. August 13, Alpha Media Group. Archived from the original on April 28, Dot" Miller May 16, Rap Radar Podcast. Event occurs at Retrieved May 25, Ghetto Story Song. Sunday Mail. News Corp Australia. Archived from the original on June 25, Retrieved June 24, — via Petrastark. My mother raised me and I saw her struggle and work and I'm not under any illusions — I know exactly what I could go right back to. The Gospel Short film. Zee News. July 15, Retrieved May 23, April 22, Heart and Soul. Sirius XM. If there was ever a path or a road that could take me to the wrong side of the street, it would be where I grew up.

Cause there was every option there to choose the wrong one. I think actually growing up around that really taught me a lot when getting into this business, you know, cause this [business] is similar to Hell's Kitchen; there's all the options, and you can either go the right way or you can kind of fall off I give thanks that where I grew up kind of prepared me for that so that I could have a particular focus, cause I didn't want to end up like so many people that I saw on the street every day.