It’s a whole different world since 20-year-old Alicia Keys first stepped onto the scene with her piano and soaring vocals.
Over the years, she has amassed a total of 27 GRAMMY nominations with 14 wins. In an interview with 97.1 AMP Radio/Los Angeles she described what it felt like winning her very first award back in 2001.
“I was in a spaceship! Seriously, I didn’t know where I was or what I was doing there and literally it felt like I had suddenly been beamed into the TV. It was the most out-of-body experience I’d ever had,” she confessed. “And then on top of that, not only to be there, but then to have won, you know was like, I couldn’t even really hold myself together very well.”
It must have been amazing — at the 2001 GRAMMYS, Alicia walked away with awards for Best New Artist, Song of the Year, Best R&B Song for “Fallin’,” Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Album.
Her most recent GRAMMY win was with Jay-Z for “Empire State of Mind.”
“It’s so crazy with music because you never know exactly how it’s going to go. It’s all spiritual. It’s all emotional. It’s all a moment,” she said.
While recording their GRAMMY winning duet, Alicia confessed that she was feeling under the weather.
“Basically I recorded the song and I was kind of sick. But I was in the zone and I was like, ‘I gotta get this done, I know he wants it and I love it,'” she said. “When I dropped it off to him I was like, ‘Here it is!’ And he called me back and was like, ‘Can you do that again?’ I was like, ‘What? What do you mean do it again? It’s good!'”
In the end though, Jay-Z knew what he was looking for.
“I think he actually ended up being right. I did do it again and I wasn’t sick anymore and I was able to really give it the right swag that it needed. The un-sick swag.”
In 2006, she was also nominated for a duet with The Voice season 2 winner Jermaine Paul. He was one of her background singers until he got his big break on the singing competition series.
“First of all, Jermaine is like the truth, for real!” Keys exclaimed. “He’s an incredibly talented guy and this actually was a tribute to Luther Vandross, so there was a whole tribute album that was put together for him that we did ‘If This World Were Mine,’ which is one of my favorites.”
The GRAMMY nominations concert will be broadcast live on CBS on December 5.
-Sarah Carroll, 97.1 AMP Radio/Los Angeles