February Influential Black Woman Highlight: Alicia Keys

Ever since I was a little girl, I have been a fan of Alicia Keys.

In middle school, I would go on YouTube and watch the music videos for her singles, watch interviews of her, sing along to her songs when I was in the car with my parents and did a project on her in elementary school for Black History Month.

I do not know what it was about her that made her stand out to me from other R&B artists, that also reached fame in the early 2000s.

Maybe it was her love for the piano, the soulful music she had released (that either have lyrics about love or empowerment of people), or the iconic hat she wore that made her a star. Whatever it was, I am happy that my parents introduced me to an amazing and talented artist, such as herself.

Although I love her music and find her songs catchy, what I find most interesting about Keys is her humanitarian side.

According to Keep A Child Alive, Keys is the co-founder of a non-profit organization which seeks to help those in HIV/AIDs affected communities in Africa and India. She also co-founded the We Are Here Movement back in 2014 to educate her fans on the many issues that prevent equality and justice around the world.

Another thing to mention is her decision to stop wearing makeup. According to Beauty Crew, Keys was set to do a photo shoot for her 2016 album, but before the photo shoot, Keys stated “I’d just come from the gym, had a scarf under my baseball cap and the beautiful photographer Paola said, I have to shoot you right now, like this! The music is raw and real, and these photos have to be too!”

Keys, who also went makeup free as host for the 2019 Grammy’s, has not been afraid of sharing photos on Twitter and Instagram of herself without makeup.

Her bravery has resulted in the creation of the No Makeup Movement which has also encouraged other celebrities such as Kim Kardashian to walk the red carpet without it.

All in all, I admire Keys for giving us catchy music, her decision to show off her natural beauty, her involvement in many charities, and passion to uplift those who are hurting with her songs. If there’s one woman in Hollywood that I think people should celebrate this month, look no further than Mrs. Alicia Keys.

Alicia Keys