Alicia Keys is an acclaimed and popular singer-songwriter who returns to NBC's three-time Emmy Award-winning musical competition series "The Voice" as a coach for its 12th season this spring.
In addition to capturing 15 Grammy Awards for her musical talents, Keys is also an actress, New York Times best-selling author, entrepreneur, activist and powerful force in the global fight against HIV and AIDS.
Since the 2001 release of her debut album "Songs in A Minor," Keys has built an unparalleled repertoire of hits and accomplishments with more than 30 million albums sold worldwide. Her second studio album, "The Diary of Alicia Keys," garnered four Grammys in 2005. Later that year, she released her first live album, "Unplugged," which debuted at No. 1.
Her third studio album, "As I Am," also opened at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, with the album's lead single, "No One," topping the Billboard Hot 100 for five consecutive weeks. In late 2009, Keys released her fourth studio album, "The Element of Freedom," which hit the platinum sales mark in one month and spawned the No. 1 single "Unthinkable."
In 2012, Keys released her Grammy-winning fifth studio album, "Girl on Fire," which debuted atop numerous Billboard album charts. In addition to being the best-selling R&B album in the U.S., "Girl on Fire" reached No. 1 on the iTunes album chart in 19 countries.
Keys became the first female R&B artist to have three consecutive No. 1 album debuts on the Billboard 200 album chart. She has received numerous honors over the years, including 11 Billboard Music Awards, five American Music Awards, three World Music Awards, three BET Awards, 14 NAACP Image Awards, seven Soul Train Music Awards, and three MTV Video Music Awards. In 2009, Keys was recognized at the BET Awards with the Humanitarian Award for her charitable and philanthropic efforts around the globe.
In 2014, Keys collaborated with Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell Williams and Hans Zimmer on the song "It's On Again," which was featured in the blockbuster film "The Amazing Spider-Man 2."
On November 4, 2016, Keys released her powerful and critically acclaimed sixth studio album, "Here," on RCA Records. Offering an honest glimpse into what matters most to Keys, the artist shines a light on the sonic soulfulness and stories from New York, the city that raised her. As an accompanying visual story to "Here," Keys also released a short film titled "The Gospel," inspired by the genesis of her songs.
As a devoted philanthropist, Keys co-founded Keep a Child Alive (KCA), a nonprofit organization that partners with grassroots organizations to combat the physical, social and economic impact of HIV on children, their families and their communities in Africa and India. Keys serves as the voice for KCA and the cause, and for the last 11 years she has hosted the organization's annual gala, the Black Ball. In years past, Keys has shared the Black Ball stage with Bono, Jay-Z, Adele, Carole King, Pharrell Williams, Annie Lennox, David Bowie, Chris Martin, Gwen Stefani, Jennifer Hudson, John Mayer, Justin Timberlake, Usher and many more. KCA provides financial and programmatic support to nine innovative, community-based responses in Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda and India. Since 2003, KCA has raised more than $50 million and its work has directly impacted the lives of more than 300,000 people.
In 2014, Keys launched We Are Here, a movement that empowers the global community around a host of issues and initiatives to build a better world where all people are heard, respected, equal and treated with dignity.
Keys has also established herself as a respected actress with performances in the films "Smokin' Aces," "The Nanny Diaries" and "The Secret Life of Bees," and she became a New York Times best-selling author with her first published work, "Tears for Water: Songbook of Poems and Lyrics."
Keys made her directorial debut on Lifetime's "Five," which earned her a DGA nomination. The film, which explores the impact of breast cancer on people's lives and relationships, is comprised of five interconnected short stories starring Rosario Dawson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Jennifer Lewis, Jeffrey Tambor and Jeanne Tripplehorn.
Keys made her debut as a producer with Lydia R. Diamond's play "Stick Fly" at the Cort Theatre, for which she also composed the original music. Reuben Cannon and Nelle Nugent produced with Keys, and the Broadway play was directed by Kenny Leon. In addition, Keys executive produced "The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete," which premiered at Sundance in 2013. A coming-of-age story about two inner-city youths, the film was screened by First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House as part of a discussion regarding education access in underserved communities. Keys also executive produced the Hallmark Hall of Fame TV movie "Firelight" for ABC, starring Cuba Gooding Jr.
Never resting on her laurels, Keys started her own company, AK Worldwide, in 2010. Based on the principle of investing in the "business of inspiration," the company creates, nurtures and manages all projects that are important to her career.
Keys began playing classical piano at age seven and graduated as valedictorian at Professional Performing Arts School at 16. She attended Columbia University before deciding to pursue her music career full-time.
Keys currently resides in the New York City area with her husband, producer Swizz Beatz, and their children.