Alicia Keys has released the following statement regarding her recent interview with Blender Magazine:"I feel it is necessary to clarify the comments that were made during my recent Blender magazine interview since they have been misrepresented.Anyone who knows me and my character, knows that I am not a conspiracy theorist or, by implication, a racist. My comments about 'gangsta rap' were in no way trying to suggest that the government is responsible for creating this genre of rap music. The point that I was trying to make was that the term was over-sloganized by some of the media causing reactions that were not always positive. Many of the 'gangsta rap' lyrics articulate the problems of the artists' experiences and I think all of us, including our leaders, could be doing more to address these problems including drugs, gang violence, crime, and other related social issues.Additionally, regarding the AK-47 reference, AK-47 is a nickname given to me by some of my friends in jest, as an acronym for Alicia Keys and a metaphor for wowing people with my music and performances, "killing 'em dead" on stage. The reference was in no way meant to have a literal, political or negative connotation.The recent implications about me are too radical and too dramatic a departure from whom I have continually demonstrated myself to be. I work so hard and give so much of myself to bring about positive change to this world, and I only wish those efforts received as much press and attention as the misinterpretations of the Blender article."
The Christmas season starts early in Tokyo, and Alicia Keys was there Thursday jump it off. The 26-year-old singer appeared at a Tokyo office building to sing a few songs from her new album, "As I Am," and wish a crowd of several hundred people a happy holiday season — with a three-story-tall Christmas tree behind her. "My new name is Alicia Trees," she joked. "As I Am," released Nov. 13, has risen to the top of the Japanese charts. Keys said the album's success shows her music has universal appeal. "I want to reach all kinds of listeners. It means a lot to me that people from all places can appreciate the music," she said. "I can't wait to come back for a big tour." Keys said she plans to spend the holidays back home in the United States. "Christmas is always special for me," she said. "I like to have a big meal with my family." Source: AP
R&B singer Alicia Keys' "As I Am" took the top spot in the nation's album sales chart for the third consecutive week, coming extremely close to setting a new record for being the No. 1 with the lowest sales tally. "As I Am" sold 61,000 copies in the week ended Sunday, according to Nielsen Soundscan, just topping the record set by the "Dreamgirls" soundtrack last year, which snagged the top spot on sales of 60,000. Jive R&B recording artist, Raheem DeVaughn, who recently received a Grammy Award nomination for his current single “Woman,” debuts at #5 with his latest effort, Love Behind The Melody. This is DeVaughn’s first trip into the top 40. The Baltimore based singer/songwriter, will kick-off a major city tour with Jill Scott in Seattle, WA at the Paramount Theatre on February 5th. On-sale dates will be announced locally in each market and show dates are as follows: February 5-8 - Seattle, WA - Paramount TheatreFebruary- 12 - Anaheim, CA - The GroveFebruary- 14 - Los Angeles, CA - Gibson AmphitheatreFebruary- 16 - Phoenix, AZ - Dodge TheaterFebruary- 19 - Dallas, TX - Nokia TheatreFebruary- 20 - Houston, TX - Verizon Wireless TheatreFebruary- 22, 23 - Atlanta, GA - Fox TheatreFebruary- 26, 27 - Baltimore, MD - Lyric Opera HouseFebruary- 29 - Norfolk, VA - Chrysler HallMarch- 2 - Greensboro, NC - Greensboro Coliseum ComplexMarch- 5,6 - Newark, NJ - NJ PacMarch- 7 - Philadelphia, PA - Liacouras Center ArenaMarch- 9 - Boston, MA - OrpheumMarch-11, 12, 14-15 - Washington DC - Dar Constitution HallMarch- 16 - Richmond, VA - Landmark TheatreMarch- 19 - Pittsburgh, PA - Benedum CenterMarch- 21 - Detroit, MI - Fox TheaterMarch- 22 - Chicago, IL - Chicago TheaterMarch- 25 - Indianapolis, IN - Murat TheatreMarch- 26 - St. Louis, MO - Fox TheatreMarch- 28, 29 - Memphis, TN - Orpheum TheatreMarch- 30 - Birmingham, AL - Boutwell AuditoriumIn other chart news, John Legend's "Live From Philadelphia," which is being sold exclusively at Target, sold 33,000 to debut at No. 7.
R&B singer Alicia Keys is one of the music industries biggest musicians, who has been able to keep her personal life very quiet. Now in a new interview, fans and outsiders can see and feel another side of Ms. Keys. The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter defends hip hop by telling Blender magazine: “‘Gangsta rap’ was a ploy to convince black people to kill each other. ‘Gangsta rap’ didn’t exist.” Keys, 27, who wears a gold AK-47 pendant around her neck “to symbolize strength, power and killing ’em dead,” is an avid reader of Black Panther autobiographies, according to an interview in the magazine’s May issue, on newsstands Tuesday. Another of her theories: That the bicoastal feud between slain rappers Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G. was fueled “by the government and the media, to stop another great black leader from existing.” Keys’ AK-47 jewelry came as a surprise to her mother, who is quoted as telling Blender: “She wears what? That doesn’t sound like Alicia.” Keys’ publicist, Theola Borden, said Keys was on vacation and unavailable for comment. Though she’s known for her romantic tunes, she told Blender that she wants to write more political songs. If black leaders such as the late Black Panther Huey Newton “had the outlets our musicians have today, it’d be global. I have to figure out a way to do it myself,” she said.
Nine-time Grammy award winner Alicia Keys is in the mood of giving but there is a catch to her generosity. The singer recently donated $20,000 in college scholarships, but stipulated any recipient must perform community service in his or her hometown. According to the New York Daily News, Keys says that her donation and related stipulation for Open Door Scholarships will help the funds get to those who deserve them the most. "It's a reward for students ... who contribute to make this a better world," she said. "We can do something to help find those bright minds that need a helping hand," Keys told the paper. "It all adds up." Keys' donation will come in the form of four $5,000 grants, with each of the grants being presented upon a deserving individual from Atlanta, New Orleans, New York's Harlem borough and Jacksonville, Fla. Key’s scholarship effort, which she plans to continue doing on an annual basis, will be detailed on a forthcoming Web site.