A product of New York's Professional Performing Arts Center, Alicia Keys' decision to quit Columbia University and bid to become a musician paid off handsomely when her 2001 debut album Songs in A Minor topped the US charts subsequently selling over 12 million copies. Born Alicia Augello Cook on January 25th, 1981 to parents of Afro-American, Italian, and Scottish descent, she appeared on TV's The Cosby Show at the age of four and developed her soulful singing style after taking up the piano when she was seven. Initially studying classical music, she co-wrote a song “Dah Dee Dah”, featured in the 1997 movie Men in Black. Her gospel-flavored single “Fallin'” was a massive hit, resulting in a clutch of Grammy Award nominations and a high-profile collaboration with Christina Aguilera and her second album The Diary of Alicia Keys (2003) achieved similar success as her likeable personality and emotive performances endeared her to international audiences. Subsequent albums As I Am (2007) and The Element of Freedom (2009) maintained her profile and in 2007, she made her movie debut playing an assassin in Smokin' Aces. Taking a break to get married and have her first child, she didn't release any new material until Girl On Fire in 2012. The album topped the Billboard 200 and the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Chart but only made it to Number 13 in the UK. She followed this up with Here in 2016, which got to Number 2 on the Billboard 200 and Number 1 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Chart. She performed at Rock in Rio in 2017 and collaborated with Eminem on the track “Like Home” from his album Revival. In 2019 it was revealed that Keys would host the 61st Annual Grammy Awards. She embraced contemporary R&B sounds on her seventh LP, the mononymous 2020 effort Alicia, which featured guest contributions from Sampha, Khalid, and Tierra Whack among others, and saw the light in 2021 with a high-profile concert for the BBC broadcasted amidst their New Year’s celebrations. Preceded by the singles "Lala (Unlocked)" with Rae Sremmurd's Swae Lee and "Best of Me," her eighth studio effort Keys, conceived as a companion piece to her previous album, appeared in late 2021 and reached Number 41 on the Billboard 200.