Life, Lessons and Longevity: The Diary of Alicia Keys

by Xara Aziz

Following the recent release of the KEYS II, mega superstar, Alicia Keys, is opening up about life, love and the power of hitting “Reset” after a whirlwind career spanning over two decades.

In an interview for Datebook, the R&B crooner said the pandemic forced her to slow down and tap into her inner self – something she hasn’t done for almost her entire adulthood.

“I also feel like I lost myself in some ways because I was trying to keep everything together, and there was so much less separation, Keys said. “I had to remind myself to create space for just me. I think that that’s an important reminder. There was a consistency that felt really beautiful. As somebody who worked really hard for a really long time, there was something beautiful about it. I was able to listen and respond to whatever felt right.”

After her debut album Songs in Minor was released 21 years ago, she revealed that she is still in awe of her growth as a songwriter. She thanks the strong connection her fans have with her music for her personal and professional growth.

“I’m so blown away. What I’ve been particularly blown away with is the pure, powerful connection that I have with the people who supported the music and supported me for all of these years,” she acknowledged. “I hear these stories of how the music was a part of these important moments in their lives and how multiple moments connect together. I really am in awe. That’s what I always wanted — a real connection. That’s what makes me most proud.”

Her new album, KEYS II, explores self-care, love and liberation. It follows her eighth studio LP, KEYS, which featured Pusha T, Brandi Carlile, Swae Lee, Lil Wayne, Khalid, and Lucky Daye. In “Billions,” she belts: “Baby, don’t let me do the things that I do, everybody in the world know that’s true, I am a one in a billion, you are a one in a billion, we got a one in a billion, don’t let me do the things that you do, everybody in the world knows it’s true, you are a one in a billion, I am a one in a billion.”  

In addition to the release of her new album, Keys celebrated her 12-year anniversary with super-producer Swizz Beatz earlier this year. The couple have two sons, Egypt and Genesis.

“We are best friends. We’re so transparent and connected to each other,” Keys wrote in a caption on Instagram celebrating their anniversary. “We laugh hard and we love hard and we cherish each other. I can’t believe it my love! 12 years!! Of pure love! There’s no love more precious then this! There’s NOTHING more precious than this! I wake up looking forward to you everyday! Forever more.”

Listen to the album, KEYS II, on Apple Music.

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