In January, Alicia Keys hosted the Grammys for the second year in a row – after winning 15 gramophones by herself. And in her new book, “More yourself“(Flatiron Books) on Tuesday, the New York native, 39, reveals his journey to becoming a Grammy goddess. Here are five secrets she shares when she opens her diary.
She knew of Times Square before it became “Disneyland.”
A Hell’s Kitchen baby, Keys recalls seeing the prostitutes near Times Square as a young girl. “There on the corner are three women who are all rubbing their hands together to stay warm,” she writes of a “deadly day” on 11th Avenue. “Everything in colorful knit dresses with borders that end miles above the knees.”
She had a MeToo moment before MeToo.
As a 19-year-old preparing for her debut album, “Songs in A Minor,” to be released in 2001, Keys had a MeToo moment playing one of her first magazine covers. “When I get dressed, the photographer somehow convinces my team that he will have to shoot me alone,” she writes. “Open your shirt a little,” he directs. “
A piano from a neighbor changed his life.
When they visited neighbors in the Ninth Avenue building of Manhattan Plaza in the spring of 1987, Keys and her mother received a life-changing gift in an upright piano. Their neighbors were moving – and all the singer and her mom had to do was move the keys to their tower on 10th Avenue. “Since the afternoon the piano was pushed into the middle of our living room, a little has been the same,” she writes.
She took her first big check to Bergdorf’s.
After getting her first big check, she went to Bergdorf Goodman for the first time. “If you’ve ever roamed Bergford’s corridors, you understand how powerful desire can get you in the collar,” writes Keys, who ended up putting back three out of five items in the registry, holding only a leather jacket and a pair of high top sneakers.
“Empire State of Mind” almost didn’t happen to her.
Her 2009 crush with Jay-Z – an ode to New York City – almost went through Key’s fingers. “For weeks, Jay had reached out to my boss about the collaboration,” she writes, “and when it went nowhere, he almost gave up and called another artist.”