Favorite Alicia Keys Album – Readers Poll
Happy birthday to the beautiful Alicia Keys! Jan. 25, 2013, marks the pianist’s 32nd birthday, and in celebration of her career as one of R&B’s leading ladies, we are taking votes on your favorite Alicia Keys album ever. So, which of the New Yorker’s five full-length, studio LPs is your ultimate go-to for a musical fix?
In the summer of 2001, the world was introduced to Keys with her debut album ‘Songs in A Minor.’ At 20 years old, Keys skyrocketed to fame thanks to her smokey, soulful vocals (which ranges from soft, angelic crooning to powerful, soaring belting) on hits like ‘A Woman’s Worth,’ ‘How Come You Don’t Call Me’ (actually a Prince cover), ‘Girlfriend,’ and of course, the Grammy-sweeping ‘Fallin’.’ The album hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200, and also topped the R&B Albums chart, transforming Keys from a struggling artist to a bonafide star.
Two years later, Keys followed up the success of ‘Songs in A Minor’ with her confessional LP ‘The Diary of Alicia Keys.’ Like her debut, which found Keys penning all of her own tracks save for a couple of covers, ‘Diary’ features mostly original songs except for a mashup of Gladys Knight & the Pips and Dionne Warwick (‘If I Was Your Woman/Walk on By’). She also teamed up with former collaborators like the Kerry Brothers for songwriting, and even worked with Kanye West on ‘You Don’t Know My Name.’ However, her biggest hit from the chart-topping record, ‘If I Ain’t Got You,’ was a total solo effort. She ended up winning three more Grammy Awards for this body of work, proving that Keys could stand the test of time.
‘As I Am,’ Keys’ 2007 album, was another massive success for Swizz Beatz‘s wifey. With another amazing batch of singles (‘No One,’ ‘Like You’ll Never See Me Again,’ ‘Teenage Love Affair,’ ‘Superwoman’) impacting radio in a big way, Keys was able to secure, again, three more Grammy awards to her name for her outstanding vocals and songwriting capabilities. ‘As I Am’ also became Keys’ third album to top the BIllboard charts, giving this girl a chart-blazing record of three out of three.
In 2009, the pianist released her only album that didn’t hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 — ‘The Element of Freedom’ only went to No. 2 on the overall albums chart, but it still dominated the R&B Albums chart at No. 1. Despite its dismal chart standing (LOL, kidding), the LP is another great compilation of chilled-out, neo-soul songs like ‘Un-Thinkable,’ ‘Try Sleeping With a Broken Heart,’ ‘Empire State of Mind (Part II) Broken Down.’
Finally, in 2012, Keys returned with another red-hot record, ‘Girl on Fire.’ The LP took Ms. Keys back to the tippy top of the Billboard charts (Billboard 200 and R&B Albums) title track has completely dominated the airwaves throughout the latter part of 2012 and early 2013. Her follow-up single ‘Brand New Me’ is one of her most personal songs to date, and it is steadily working its way up the charts. We bet we’ll see her name on the list of Grammy nominees for 2014’s award show…
Wish Alicia a “Happy birthday!” in the comments below, and be sure to vote on your favorite album by the songstress below.