Grammys Spotlight: Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys is no stranger to Grammy voters. Since 2001, the singer-songwriter has amassed a whopping 24 Grammy nominations and 12 wins. In 2002, she became the second female artist — after Lauryn Hill in 1998 — to take home five Grammys in one night for her debut disc “Songs in a Minor.” Her second studio album — “The Diary of Alicia Keys” —  earned her four more Grammys in 2005 and she picked up another three awards for her third album — “As I Am” — in 2008.

This year, Keys is certain to contend in a variety of categories. Her collaboration with Jay-Z — “Empire State of Mind” — was a huge crossover success, moving over four million downloads and spending five consecutive weeks at No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. The duet will likely reap nominations for Record of the Year, Best Rap/Sung Collaboration and Best Rap Song. The tune is not eligible for Song of the Year since it includes a sample, but the video has an outside shot at a Best Short Form Video nod.

Keys’ fourth studio album — “The Element of Freedom” — sold over three million copies worldwide and spawned the hit single, “Un-Thinkable (I’m Ready),” which spent 12 consecutive weeks atop the R&B chart and has an outside shot at a Song of the Year bid. Keys should contend for Best R&B Album, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance (“Un-Thinkable”), Best R&B Song (“Un-Thinkable”) and Best R&B Performance By A Duo or Group (“Put It In A Love Song” w/Beyonce).

I’d be surprised if this solo disc vies for Album of the Year. However, Keys could still contend in that category as “Empire State of Mind” is featured on Jay-Z’s “Blueprint 3.”

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Image: “The Image of Freedom” album cover (J Records)

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