I know that I said that I didn’t plan to feature too many American singers in this series, but this is another one who had a lot of hits in this country for over a decade who I enjoyed. Alicia Keys is a singer/songwriter and pianist, whose debut hit “Fallin'” was released in November 2001, which reached no. 3 (and was also her first chart-topper in America).
When your hear this all these years on, it’s still clear to realise why she became an instant star really, and you can imagine the cheering and applause that her performances of this would receive. Not long after, she was given just about as many Grammys as she could hold at once, and this was an indication that she would go on to much more success.
Among her other highlights are March 2002’s “A Woman’s Worth” and July 2002’s “How Come You Don’t Call Me”. In October 2002, there was “Gangsta Lovin'”, which was a duet with Eve, and I do think that this just as good as the one with Gwen Stefani that was a big hit about a year earlier. And in December 2002, “Girlfriend” became her fifth hit single of the year, and this has got to be my favourite of hers.
In December 2003 was “You Don’t Know My Name”, and then it all went rather quiet for a while. Alicia returned in November 2007 with “No One”, which rather surprisingly was her first Top Ten hit single in the UK for over five years, and also was her second US chart-topper. In November 2008 she was invited to perform the theme to the James Bond film Quantum Of Solace. This was “Another Way To Die”, which was a duet with Jack White, but this unlikely combination did result in another big hit.
Then in September 2009 was “Empire State Of Mind”, a duet with Jay-Z which reached no. 2, to become her biggest hit in the UK, and her third and final US chart-topper. December 2009 turned out to be a busy time, as both “Doesn’t Mean Anything” and “Empire State Of Mind Part II” entered the chart. This one was a reworking of the hit from only a few months earlier, now featuring Alicia on her own, with additional lyrics, and more plinky-plonky piano.
In February 2010 was “Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart”, and finally in December 2012 was “Girl On Fire”, which turned out to be her final Top Ten hit single in the UK, over 11 years on from her first. After this, Alicia has only made a couple of minor appearances on the chart in the last decade, she has released eight albums, and she has now won about 250 Grammys.