Alicia Augello Cook (born January 25, 1981), better known by her stage name Alicia Keys, is an American recording artist, musician and actress. She was raised by a single mother in the Hell's Kitchen area of Manhattan in New York City, New York, United States. At age seven, Keys began to play classical music on the piano. She attended Professional Performing Arts School and graduated at 16 as valedictorian. She later attended Columbia University before dropping out to pursue her music career. Keys released her debut album with J Records, having had previous record deals first with Columbia and then Arista Records. Throughout her career, Keys has won numerous awards including 14 Grammy awards and has sold over 75 million records worldwide. Billboard magazine named her the top R&B artist of the 2000–2009 decade, establishing herself as one of the best-selling artists of her time. In 2010, VH1 included Keys on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. In May 2009, Swizz Beatz announced that he and Keys were romantically involved, and in May 2010, a representative for Keys and Swizz Beatz confirmed that they were engaged and expecting a child together. During the time of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the couple took part of a union and had the unborn child blessed in a Zulu ceremony, which took place in the Illovo suburb of South Africa. Keys and Swizz Beatz were married on the French island of Corsica on July 31, 2010. On October 14, 2010, Keys gave birth to a son, Egypt Daoud Ibarr Dean, in New York City. 1997
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