Status 10: The ‘Keys’ to Success


By Michele Byrd

This week, I bring to you Status Media’s number 7 pick, Alicia Keys. If you have to wonder why Ms. Keys made the list, you need to ask yourself what rock you have been living under for the last eight years. I am 22-years-old and, honestly, I find it hard to remember a time when Alicia Keys wasn’t on top of the world. From the moment she hit her first rift during the opening bars of “Fallin,” I, and the rest of America, was in love.

Simply put, Alicia Keys’s talent is unmatched in the music industry. The New York native honed her famous piano skills at the Professional Performing Arts School before briefly attending Columbia University. Her debut album, Songs in A Minor, sold more than 10 million copies worldwide and garnered five Grammys including Best New Artist and Best R&B Album.  Her follow up album, and my personal favorite, The Diary of Alicia Keys, was released in 2004. Diary gave the world hits such as “If I Ain’t Got You,” and “You Don’t Know My Name,” and earned Ms. Keys another four Grammys. In 2005, she released Unplugged, making her the first female R&B artist to have three consecutive #1 debuts on the Billboard 200 charts in as many albums. 2007 brought the release of her third studio album, As I Am, earning her three more Grammys. Convinced yet? Yea, I thought you would be.

Don’t worry, there’s more.

Keys made her feature film debut in 2007 with Smokin Aces and later The Nanny Diaries. She also appeared in The Secret Lives of Bees. Now, I know what you’re thinking: all of those movies were semi-terrible. You’re right, but have you been in three movies? I didn’t think so.

Besides being a musical force to reckon with, Alicia Keys is simply gorgeous. It may be shallow, but let’s face it, people seldom support artists based on their inner beauty alone. She has matured before our eyes from a young lady rocking intricate braids and a Fedora, to an American beauty.


Lately, however, Keys has been a constant subject of the rumor mill for her alleged affair with hip hop superstar Swizz Beatz, who is now in the middle of an ugly divorce with wife, Mashonda. However, homewrecker or not, Alicia Keys is still on top. She burst back onto the scene this year with a powerful hook on Jay Z’s single, “Empire State of Mind.” (So powerful in fact that it made Lil Mama lose her mind for a little bit…shameful).

So what’s next? In addition to more films in her future (which I’m not particularly excited about), Keys will release her fourth album, The Element of Freedom on December 1st (which I’m super excited about.) Armed with her unmistakably soulful voice and veritable musical genius, I expect nothing less than the best. Dazzle us Ms. Keys. We are waiting.


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