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Alicia Keys Net Worth

alicia keys in front of microphone
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Alicia Keys Net Worth: $170 million
Born: 25th January 1981 (41 Years Old)
Profession: Singer, songwriter, and actress  
Children: 2

American singer, songwriter, and actress Alicia Keys has a net worth of $170 million.   

Early Life 

Born Alicia Augello Cook on 25th January 1981, Alicia Keys is from Hell’s Kitchen, New York. 

Her real name is derived from her parents. Her father, Craig Cook, is an African American flight attendant and her mother, Terria Joseph (née Teresa M. Augello), was a paralegal and occasional actress. Her mother has Italian, English, Scottish and Irish ancestry.

Keys’ father left home when she was two years old and was not in her life. She has two half-siblings on her father’s side.  

Growing up in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood, Keys was exposed to crime, including street violence, prostitution, and drugs from a young age. She recalls being subjected to recurrent harassment and sexual propositions around her home. 

From a young age, Alicia Keys was interested in singing and music. She began playing the piano at six and at ten was gifted an upright piano from a neighborhood friend. She practiced six hours a day.

young alicia keys sitting next to piano
A young Alicia Keys loved singing and playing the piano. Credit: Instagram.

Musical Education  

Alicia Keys continued learning the piano throughout her childhood and composed her first song at age 12 after being inspired by the movie Philadelphia

At age 12, Alicia enrolled in dance, music and theatre classes while majoring in the choir at the Professional Performing Arts School (PPAS) in Hell’s Kitchen. 

She continued singing and dancing and started studying jazz at 14 years old. 

As a teenager, Keys spent a lot of time in Harlem due to feeling better connected with the racial and cultural diversity there.  

Beginnings of Her Musical Career 

At the age of 13 in 1994, Keys met Jeff Robinson. His brother had been giving Keys lessons in Harlem and recommended his manager brother to hear her. 

Keys was, at the time, in a three-girl group that performed in Harlem. They performed at Harlem’s Police Athletic League center and Robinson went to watch. He took her under his wing. 

By the time Keys met Robinson, she had already written two songs that would later appear on her debut album: Butterflyz and The Life.

Keys first signed to a record label at 15. Columbia Records offered her a white baby grand piano costing $26,000. 

The same year, Alicia Keys got a scholarship to Columbia University in Manhattan. She began studying there at sixteen whilst working on music.

After a month, Keys dropped out to concentrate on music.

Developing Her Own Songs

Keys struggled to work with songwriters at Columbia Records and was even propositioned sexually during her time there. She began working on her own to develop her songs for her album. 

Keys negotiated herself out of her contract with Columbia and signed to Arista Records in 1998. 

She later moved to J Records and started playing in small shows across the U.S. There was thought that she was too urban for pop stations yet too traditional for urban stations. 

Eventually, Keys performed on The Tonight Show. She was also booked in on Oprah after the presenter heard her song Fallin’

Keys’ first appearance on The Oprah Show. Credit: OWN YouTube Channel.

Achieving Stardom   

Keys’ debut single Fallin’ went straight in at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, and it stayed there for six weeks. 

After this, her album Songs in A minor was released (2001) and was critically acclaimed. It went in at number 1 on the Billboard 200 and sold 236,000 in the first week alone. The album sold 12 million copies internationally and was certified 6x platinum. 


There were six Grammy Award nominations for Songs in A Minor and Fallin’ was nominated for Record of the Year.

At the Grammys in 2002, Keys was awarded five Grammys: Song of the Year (for Fallin’), Best R&B Song (for Fallin’), Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, Best R&B Album and Best New Artist. 

alicia keys with five grammy awards
Keys picking up her five Grammys. Credit: Yahoo.

Alicia Keys as a Songwriter

As well as her musical success, Keys also wrote songs for other artists. She wrote and produced Christina Aguilera’s song Impossible for her 2002 album Stripped. She also provided piano and background vocals. 

Follow up Albums

After the success of Songs in A Minor, Alicia Keys followed with The Diary of Alicia Keys in 2003. 

This was also a big success and debuted on the Billboard 200 at number 1. In the first week alone, it sold 618,000 copies and became the highest number of first-week sales in 2003 for a female artist.  

The lead single of the album was You don’t know my name, which peaked at number 1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-hop songs chart and number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Other Achievements

In 2004, Alicia Keys released a novel called Tears for Water: Songbook of Poems and Lyrics. This was a collection of unreleased lyrics and poems she’d written in her journal. This made the 2005 New York Times best-seller list.

In 2007, the singer-songwriter co-starred in the movie Smokin’ Aces as Georgia Sykes, an assassin, and played opposite Andy García and Ben Affleck. The film was a moderate box office hit. 

Later the same year, Keys starred in The Nanny Diaries alongside Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson. 

Coming Back To Music  

In 2007, Keys returned to music and released her third album entitled As I Am. This sold 742,000 copies in its first week, making it her largest first-week sales ever. 

This meant she tied with Britney Spears for having the most consecutive number ones as a female artist on the Billboard 200.

In December 2009, Keys released The Element of Freedom, her 4th album. Though this debuted at number 2 on the Billboard 200, it was the first of Keys’ albums to top the UK Albums Chart. 

Keys’ fifth album, Girl on Fire, was released in November 2012. 

Family Life and Personal Life

 In 2010, Keys married Swizz Beatz, a hip-hop producer. In October of the same year, their first child, Egypt Daoud Dean, was born. Their second son, Genesis Ali Dean, was born in December 2014.

alicia keys with her husband on their wedding day
Alicia Keys and her husband on their wedding day. Credit: Instagram.

Activism and Philanthropy

Aside from being a singer and performer, Keys is also a philanthropist and activist. She has co-founded a non-profit called Keep a Child Alive, which provides orphan care, social support, and medicine to families in India and Africa living with HIV and AIDS. 

Keys has also taken part in activism and has been involved in women’s rights and black rights. 

Alicia Keys Quotes

“I’m not in contact with him. That’s fine. When I was younger, I minded about that. [It] made me angry. But it helped show me what a strong woman my mother was and made me want to be strong like her. Probably, it was better for me this way.” – Alicia Keys about her father

“Everything you want to be, you already are. You’re simply on the path to discovering it.” – Alicia Keys

“Be driven, be focused, but enjoy every moment, because it only happens once.”

– Alicia Keys

“Risk the fall to know how it feels to fly.” – Alicia Keys

“All of us are different. That’s what makes us interesting and special. I don’t want to be anything like another person. I want to be totally myself and go against the grain, forge my own path. I’ve learned that being different is what makes you stand out. It makes everything so much more intriguing.” – Alicia Keys

“The most important thing to remember is that you can wear all the greatest clothes and all the greatest shoes, but you’ve got to have a good spirit on the inside. That’s what’s really going to make you look like you’re ready to rock the world.”

– Alicia Keys

“You can’t really compare people. That’s one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned because comparing yourself to someone else really stops you from being who you are.” – Alicia Keys

“The more you know the stronger you become, the closer you feel to yourself and the farther you can go.” – Alicia Keys

“I’m in constant pursuit of growing and evolving.” – Alicia Keys

“The most important thing is to be proud of the work that you put into something and put the ego aside. – Alicia Keys

Summary: Alicia Keys Net Worth

  • Alicia Keys Net Worth is $170 million. 
  • She was born on 25th January 1981 and raised in Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan, New York.
  • Her mother raised her alone from age two. 
  • Keys was interested in music from a young age and started playing the piano at six years old. 
  • At 10, she was gifted her first piano. 
  • After navigating a difficult neighborhood and problems at her first record label, Alicia Keys went on to become an international star with her first album Songs in A Minor.
  • As a successful singer, songwriter, and actress, Keys is known the world over. She is also an activist and philanthropist. 
  • In her personal life, Keys is married and has two sons.

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