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Alicia Augello Cook (born January 25, 1981), known by her stage name Alicia Keys, is an American singer, songwriter, pianist, actress, record producer and philanthropist.Keys released her debut album with J Records, having had previous record deals first with Columbia and then Arista Records.
It became her fourth number-one single on the Hot 100.At first, Keys attempted to manage both, but after a month, she dropped out of college to pursue her musical career full-time.Keys signed a demo deal with Jermaine Dupri and So So Def Recordings, where she appeared on the label's Christmas album performing "The Little Drummer Girl".Keys has made guest appearances on several television series, beginning with The Cosby Show and most recently on season 2 of Empire.She made her film debut in Smokin' Aces and also went on to appear in The Nanny Diaries in 2007.She also co-wrote and recorded a song titled "Dah Dee Dah (Sexy Thing)", which appeared on the soundtrack to the 1997 film, Men in Black.
The song was Keys' first professional recording; however, it was never released as a single and her record contract with Columbia ended after a dispute with the label.
Keys' debut album, Songs in A Minor, was a commercial success, selling over 12 million copies worldwide.
She became the best-selling new artist and best-selling R&B artist of 2001.
It produced her first Billboard Hot 100 number-one single "Fallin'" which won Song of the Year.
Her sophomore album, The Diary of Alicia Keys, was released in 2003, spawning successful singles "You Don't Know My Name", "If I Ain't Got You" and "Diary", and selling eight million copies worldwide.
The following year, she appeared in The Secret Life of Bees, which earned her a nomination at the NAACP Image Awards.