Alicia Keys Biography

Songs in Am sold 50.000 copies on the first day of release


Watch these videos

Alicia Keys concert videos

Alicia Keys

Not many singers enter the charts instantly with their debut album. Usually, it takes not just months of preparation but also a soft release, a build and then a few more singles before the audience catch on.

When Alicia Keys released ‘Songs In Am’ in 2001, she could not have anticipated the huge success of 50.000 sales in the first day or the twelve million copies that her debut album eventually sold.

Followed up by more albums as well as acting in major feature films, Alicia has become a household name almost a decade later, with over thirty million albums sold and numerous awards.

The debut album collected five Grammy awards, a feat only Christopher Cross and Norah Jones have achieved previously and since.

Alicia Keys rewrote Jay-Z’s Empire State Of Mind

One of the biggest hits during 2009 was Jay-Z’s ‘Empire State Of Mind’ from his massive album ‘The Blueprint 3’. As it entered the charts at #1, Alicia must have known that her future release of ‘The Element Of Freedom’ was going to be yet another success.

The original song was released as a single in October 2009, the piano version only a few months later in February 2010, making the song a top ten hit twice!

The date 11th of September will always be connected with the tragedy of New York being under attack. What most people have now forgotten is that Mariah Carey released her album ‘Glitter’ on that day and because of the terrible events, it suffered in sales.

When Jay-Z, almost a decade later, released his ‘The Blueprint 3’ on the same date, there is certainly no coincidence that the release fell on that day! Whether the leak of the album (which is part of a trilogy) on 31st August was a safety precaution by the label or not remains unknown.

Jay-Z had said that he was excited about the release and that he had wanted people to hear it eleven days in advance. The plot thickens as the album gave Jay-Z his eleventh #1 album!

This enabled him to break the record he previously shared with Elvis Presley.

Related Pages

Empire State Of Mind – Guitar Lesson

This song has very few chords and a sparse arrangement. You can learn so much from this type of arrangement when you write your own songs.

One of the main lessons here lies in understanding how the simpler or more spacious the arrangement is, the bigger it sounds.

Originally played on piano, this song has been arranged for just one acoustic guitar.

Go to video lessons: Empire State Of Mind chords.

Empire State Of Mind – Lyrics

Empire State of MindGrew up in a town that is famous as the place of movie scenes
Noise was always loud, there are sirens all around and the streets are mean
If I can make it here, I can make it anywhere, that’s what they say
Seeing my face in lights or my name on marquees found down on Broadway
Even if it ain’t all it seems, I got a pocketful of dreams

For complete lyrics, go to Empire State Of Mind lyrics.

Sign Up Now

A monthly subscription with access to all acoustic and electric step by step lessons, each one designed to bring your guitar playing skills to the next level.

Including detailed, but bite-sized explanations on how the music theory of each song is applied to the neck.

To sign up now, go to Monthly Subscription