Augello-Cook Dean (born January 25, 1981), better known by her stage name Alicia Keys, is an American singer, songwriter, actress, record producer, author, and pianist. A classicallytrained pianist, Keys was composing songs by age 12 and was signed at 15 years old by Columbia Records. After disputes with the label, she signed with Arista Records, and later released her debut album, Songs in A Minor, with J Records in 2001. The album was critically and commercially successful, producing her first Billboard Hot 100 number-one single “Fallin” and selling over 16 million copies worldwide. The album earned Keys 5 Grammy Awards in 2002. Her second album, The Diary of Alicia Keys (2003), was also a critical and commercial success, spawning successful singles “You Don’t Know My Name,” “If I Ain’t Got You,” and “Diary,” and selling 8 million copies worldwide. The album garnered her an additional 4 Grammy Awards. Her duet “My Boo” with Usher became her second number-one single in 2004. Keys released her first live album, Unplugged (2005), and became the first woman to have an MTV Unplugged album debut at number one.
Her third album, As I Am (2007), produced the Hot 100 number-one single “No One,” selling 7 million copies worldwide and earning an additional 3 Grammy Awards. In 2007, Keys made her film debut in the action-thriller film Smokin’ Aces. She, along with Jack White, recorded “Another Way to Die” (the title song to the 22nd official James Bond film, Quantum of Solace). Her fourth album, The Element of Freedom (2009), became her first chart-topping album in the UK, and sold 4 million copies worldwide. In 2009, Keys also collaborated with Jay Z on “Empire State of Mind,” which became her fourth number-one single and won the Grammy Award for Best Rap/ Song Collaboration. Girl on Fire (2012) was her fifth Billboard 200 topping album, spawning the successful title track, and won the Grammy Award for Best R&B