Born in 1981, in New York, Alicia Keys began piano lessons at age 7. After graduating from the Professional Performance Arts School, she signed a deal with Clive Davis, the head of Arista Records. Davis left Arista to start J Records and Keys followed. Her debut album Songs in A Minor (2001) went platinum five times over and earned her five Grammys. She followed up with hit albums such as The Diary of Alicia Keys (2003),
As I Am (2007) and Girl on Fire (2009), all of which won the artist Grammys.