Alicia Keys Is Creating the Art She and the World Needs Right Now

If you happened to be watching The Oprah Winfrey Show one afternoon in the spring of 2001, you probably still remember the moment when an unknown pianist and singer with zigzag cornrows and a tough-girl New York accent took the stage to play Beethoven. The supremely poised 20-year-old was named Alicia Keys, and when she segued from “Für Elise” to her own soulful début single, “Fallin’,” it was clear that something major was going on. “Amaaazing!” declared Winfrey, noting that Keys had written and produced almost every track on her upcoming first album, Songs in A Minor. (It went on to reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and earn her five Grammy Awards)…

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