Alicia Keys Net Worth & Biography - Celebrity Net Worth

By Mixxerly Updated: SEPTEMBER 22, 2021

Introduction

NET WORTH

$170M

Alicia Keys is an American singer-songwriter. A classically-trained pianist, Keys began 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 12 million copies worldwide. The album earned Keys five Grammy Awards in 2002. As of , Alicia Keys has an estimated net worth of about $170M.

At a Glance

Full name: Alicia Augello Cook

Other names: Alicia Keys

Birthday: January 25, 1981

Age:

Net worth: $170M

Occupation: Musician, Singer, Songwriter, Actress, Music Producer, Philanthropist.

Nationality: United States of America.

Net Worth

Alicia Keys' 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 eight million copies worldwide. The album garnered her an additional four 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. As of , Alicia Keys has an estimated net worth of about $170M.

Favorite Quotes from Alicia Keys

“Right now the way I define beauty is individuality and wisdom, which I think creates certain inner confidence. And no confidence in a way that’s only on the surface, but a deep-down knowing of yourself or settling into who you are.” – Alicia Keys
“It’s when we become afraid of everything and worried about everything that you are never going to reach your highest potential.” – Alicia Keys
“The more you know the stronger you become, the closer you feel to yourself and the farther you can go.” – Alicia Keys
“How far you go depends on what you want for yourself, how much you’re willing to leave on the floor, and how much you wanna face the fears you have inside of you. It’s everything we’re all dealing with every day.” – Alicia Keys
“I think that I’ve come to terms with the fact that that’s just going to happen for the whole duration of my life. I feel really good about being able to look myself in the face and say, “Oh, who are you now?” And that might change.” – Alicia Keys

Early life

Alicia Augello was born on January 25, 1981, in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of New York City. She is the only child of Teresa Augello, who was a paralegal and part-time actress, and one of three children of Craig Cook, who was a flight attendant. Keys' father is African American and her mother is of Italian, Irish, and Scottish descent; her mother's paternal grandparents were immigrants from Sciacca in Sicily.

Named after her Puerto Rican godmother, Keys has said that she was comfortable with her multiracial heritage because she felt she was able to "relate to different cultures". Keys' father left when she was two and she was subsequently raised by her mother during her formative years in Hell's Kitchen. Keys said her parents never had a relationship, and her father was not in her life.

Although she did not like to speak about her father in order to not feed stereotypes, Keys remarked in 2001: "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." Keys and her mother lived in a one-room apartment. Her mother often worked three jobs to provide for Keys, who "learned how to survive" from her mother's example of tenacity and self-reliance.

From a young age, Keys struggled with self-esteem issues, "hiding" little by little when her differences made her vulnerable to judgement, and later uninvited sexual attention. Living in the rough neighborhood of Hell's Kitchen, she was, from an early age, regularly exposed to street violence, drugs, prostitution, and subjected to sexual propositions in the sex trade- and crime-riddled area.

"I saw a variety of people growing up, and lifestyles, lows and highs. I think it makes you realise right away what you want and what you don't want", Keys said.

Keys recalled feeling fearful early on of the "animal instinct" she witnessed, and eventually feeling "high" due to recurrent harassment. Her experiences in the streets had led her to carry a homemade knife for protection. She became very wary, emotionally guarded, and she began wearing gender-neutral clothing and what would become her trademark cornrows.

Keys explained that she is grateful for growing up where she did as it prepared her for the parallels in the music industry, particularly as she was a teenager starting out; she could maintain a particular focus and not derail herself. She credits her "tough" mother for anchoring her on a right path as opposed to many people she knew who ended up on the wrong path and in jail. Keys attributed her unusual maturity as a young girl to her mother, who depended on her to be responsible while she worked to provide for them and give Keys as many opportunities as possible.

Keys loved music and singing from early childhood. She recalled her mother playing jazz records of artists like Thelonious Monk, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong on Sunday mornings, early musical moments Keys considers influential in kindling her interest in and emotional connection to music. In preschool, Keys sang in her school's production of the musical Cats and was cast as Dorothy Gale in a production of The Wizard of Oz.

Keys discovered she had a passion for the piano by age six, as she loved the sound and feel of the instrument and desired to play and learn it. When Keys was ten, a neighborhood friend who was moving home gifted her family an old upright piano. This proved pivotal for Key's musical development, allowing her to practice, to play and fully benefit from music lessons at an early age.

Keys began receiving classical piano training by age seven, practicing six hours a day, learning the Suzuki method and playing composers such as Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin, and Satie. She was particularly drawn to "blue, dark, shadowy" and melancholic compositions, as well as the passionate romanticism of "blue composers" like Chopin. Inspired by the film Philadelphia, Keys wrote her first song about her departed grandfather on her piano by age 12.

The scene in the film where Tom Hanks's character listens to opera on a record player notably affected Keys, who "never showed emotion very well". After seeing the film, Keys, "for the first time, could express how [she] felt through the music."

Keys' mother had encouraged her to participate in different extracurricular activities, including music, dance, theater, and gymnastics, so she could "find her muse". Her extracurricular activities gave her focus and drive, and helped keep her out of trouble. Keys remained so occupied with her various pursuits that she experienced her first burnout before adolescence.

Before her 13th birthday, she expressed to her mother that she was too overwhelmed and wanted to disengage, at which point her mother took some time off with her and encouraged her to keep focusing on piano. Keys would continue studying classical music until the age of 18. Keys regards her education in classical piano and dedication to classical music as vital for her stability in her youth and her development as a musician and songwriter. Keys later said of her classical background:

That type of studying, that type of discipline...after a while, I realized what it provided me – focus, the ability to pay attention for a long enough period of time to make progress; the work ethic; the actual knowledge of music, that then unlocked the ability to write my own music, put my own chords and things I heard in my own head to different lyrics that I maybe felt, and I never, ever had to wait for anybody to write something for me.

Keys enrolled in the Professional Performing Arts School at the age of 12, where she took music, dance, and theater classes and majored in choir. In her preteen years, Keys and her bass-playing friend formed their first group, though neither "knew too much about how pop songs worked". Keys would continue singing, writing songs, and performing in musical groups throughout junior high and high school.

She became an accomplished pianist, and after her classical music teacher had nothing left to teach her, she began studying jazz at age 14. Living in the "musical melting pot" city, Keys had already been discovering other genres of music, including soul music, hip hop, R&B, and taken affinity to artists like Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield. Keen on dissecting music, Keys continued developing her songwriting and finding her own 'flow and style" through her exploration of the intricacies in different music.

Keys spent more time in Harlem during her teenage years. She connected with the cultural and racial diversity in the neighborhood, where she expanded upon her musical exploration, and her character was also solidified. "Harlem raised me in a lot of ways," Keys remarked. "[It] taught me how to think fast, how to play the game...taught me leadership, how to get out of bad situations when you need to, how to hold my own." During this period, she met her good friend who would later become her long-term collaborator and boyfriend Kerry Brothers Jr., also famously known as "Krucial".

Career Highlights

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 three 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/Sung 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 Album. In 2013, VH1 Storytellers was released as her second live album. Her sixth studio album, Here (2016), became her seventh US R&B/Hip-Hop chart-topping album. Her seventh studio album, Alicia, was released on September 18, 2020.

Keys has received numerous accolades in her career, including 15 competitive Grammy Awards, 17 NAACP Image Awards, 12 ASCAP Awards, and an award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame and National Music Publishers Association. She has sold over 35 million albums and 40 million singles worldwide and was named by Billboard the top R&B artist of the 2000s decade.

She placed tenth on their list of Top 50 R&B/Hip-Hop Artists of the Past 25 Years. VH1 included her on their 100 Greatest Artists of All Time and 100 Greatest Women in Music lists, while Time has named her in their 100 list of most influential people in 2005 and 2017. Keys is also acclaimed for her humanitarian work, philanthropy and activism; she co-founded and serves as the Global Ambassador of the nonprofit HIV/AIDS-fighting organization Keep a Child Alive.

2019–present: Alicia, authorship

On January 15, 2019, Alicia Keys was announced as the host of the 61st Annual Grammy Awards. This was Keys' first time being the master of ceremonies for the event. When Keys hosted the event on February 10, 2019 it became the first time a woman hosted the show in 14 years. Keys’ performance playing two pianos at the same time was declared as one of the best performances/most memorable moments of the 61st Annual Grammy Awards by Entertainment Tonight as well as the Los Angeles Daily News who also noted her fashion. Keys dedicated the performance to those who have inspired her, including Scott Joplin and Hazel Scott, and drew the audience in by welcoming them to what she called "Club Keys". Vox stated Alicia Keys was one of three reasons the 2019 Grammy Awards Ceremony was good, calling her the perfect host.

In May 2019, Keys attended the 2019 Met Gala themed "Camp: Notes on Fashion" in New York City wearing a light aqua green sequined dress with hood alongside her husband Kasseem "Swizz Beatz" Dean who wore a dark green suit and black bow tie. The next month, Keys performed at Pride Live's Stonewall Day Concert on June 28, 2019 wearing a white jumpsuit with the name of her upcoming song "Show Me Love" in multi-colored beads on the back of the jumpsuit. Included in the songs she performed was her own song "Girl on Fire", the performance was part of a concert in honor of those who fought for gay (LGBT) community rights in the Stonewall Riots. On July 26, 2019, Bloomberg News reported Keys and Beatz were avidly purchasing works by artist Tschabalala Self and that they decided to keep two of the pieces they bought and donate one to the Brooklyn Museum. Less than a month later, Keys and Beatz revealed their plans for an art and music center including that they plan to have the center located in Macedon in upstate New York and to name it "Dean Collection Music & Art Campus".

Alicia Keys was announced as the buyer of the "Razor House" in the La Jolla community of San Diego, California in early September 2019. In an interview with Billboard on December 5, 2019 Keys' recent move with her husband to the West Coast was briefly discussed. Keys noted that she was enjoying having time to explore the more open landscape and the change of scenery, even finding the fog gorgeous.

In September 2019, Keys released a new single, "Show Me Love" with Miguel. The accompanying music video starred actors Michael B. Jordan and Zoe Saldana. The song impacted urban radio on September 24, 2019 as the first single from Keys' upcoming seventh studio album. Keys performed the track for the first time during her appearance at the 2019 iHeart Radio Music Festival in Las Vegas. The song was a commercial success on US Urban music charts and became Keys' first song to reach the Billboard Hot 100 since "Girl on Fire" in 2012; peaking at number 90 on November 22, 2019. This success extended her record as the artist with the most number one singles on the Adult R&B Songs chart; reigning for 5 consecutive weeks. The song was atop this chart at the #1 position the weeks of December 14, December 21, and December 28 in 2019 and the weeks of January 4 and January 11 in 2020. As of the week of January 11, 2020 "Show Me Love" had been on the Adult R&B Songs Chart (any position) for 16 weeks (the chart has 30 positions). It also became Keys’ 11th song to reach number one on the Adult R&B Songs chart. It was followed by the release of the single "Time Machine" in November 2019. The music video for "Time Machine" was released the same month and noted for its retro roller rink setting and vibes.

In December 2019 Keys was awarded the American Express Impact Award for her efforts to foster female artist growth and provide them with new opportunities through the non-profit she co-founded the year before and developed in 2019 named She Is the Music. Keys received the award at the 14th Annual Women in Music Billboard event on December 12, 2019.

On January 26, 2020 Alicia Keys hosted the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards for the second year in a row as announced on November 14, 2019. In addition to hosting the event, Keys performed multiple times including a tribute with Boyz II Men to basketball star Kobe Bryant who died in a helicopter crash earlier that same day. Keys also performed her new song "Underdog" with Brittany Howard backing the performance on acoustic guitar. Keys’ outfits for the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards Ceremony on January 26, 2020 were also praised by Today for their showstopping gorgeousness. In addition to her outfits, Keys’ stylish hair and on-point overall sense of style were recognized and covered by People. Less than a week later, Keys presented a $20,000 scholarship to a teenager going to school in Texas alongside Ellen DeGeneres on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" in support of his college education and in encouragement of him keeping his hair (long dreadlocks) intact for graduation. Their hope is that the high school he's attending lets him walk at high school graduation without having to cut his dreadlocks to a shorter length.

Keys' seventh studio album Alicia was originally scheduled to be released on May 15, 2020, but then got postponed to September 18, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The new album features a four-square cover art piece showing Keys’ head and shoulders from different views. Alicia: The World Tour, Keys' first tour in seven years, was supposed to begin in Europe in June 2020, with the first planned stop on her tour Dublin on June 5. After Europe, Alicia Keys would then have toured North America where she also planned to end her tour in Miami, Florida on September 22, 2020.

Keys released her memoir More Myself: A Journey on March 31, 2020.

In September 2020, Alicia Keys also began a new beauty venture, Keys Soulcare, which first launched in the UK on Cult Beauty, a cosmetics retailer. Keys Soulcare is a skincare and wellness brand that focuses on serious skincare and soul nurturing rituals that encourage self-love.

On October 29, 2020, Alicia released "A Beautiful Noise" with Brandi Carlile to encourage Americans to get out and vote. Alicia and Brandi performed "A Beautiful Noise" on Every Vote Counts: A Celebration of Democracy on CBS. Keys and Carlile sat at separate pianos across from each other and alternated verses before coming together in harmony. "A Beautiful Noise" was also included on the digital reissue of Keys' seventh studio album Alicia that was released on December 18, 2020.