Ten years ago, an up-and-coming musician made her national television debut on The Oprah Show. Since then, superstar Alicia Keys has sold more than 30 million albums, won 12 Grammy awards and climbed to the top of the charts with hits like "If I Ain't Got You," "No One" and "Empire State of Mind."
At age 29, Alicia is singing—and feeling—better than ever. After seeing the Oscar®-nominated documentary Food, Inc., Alicia says she began eating more consciously.
"I've always been conscious about how I've eaten, and so that just made me eat even better," she says. "So I just feel really good. I'm really happy. I'm in a great space. I feel really positive."
Alicia says her healthy lifestyle also includes a regular workout regiment.
Alicia's hard work in the gym recently paid off. While filming a music video for a duet she recorded with superstar Beyoncé Knowles, Alicia slipped into some skimpy outfits.
The video for "Put It in a Love Song," which was filmed in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, also features the two Grammy winners wearing barely there Carnival-inspired costumes.
"We had so much fun," she says. "It was insane, and the people were just unbelievable."
Alicia says she and Beyoncé have wanted to work together for years. "We've been friends for a little while now, and it's amazing because we were able to grow up together in the business," she says. "We were both on Columbia Records at the same time, and so we've been able to watch each other flourish."
In 2009, Alicia also recorded a duet with Beyoncé's husband, hip-hop mogul Jay-Z. Their New York anthem, "Empire State of Mind," hit number one on Billboard's Hot 100 chart. Now, you can hear it everywhere! It's being used in the Sex and the City sequel, and baseball all-star Derek Jeter even uses it as his batting music.
Since she was a teenager, Alicia says she's dreamed of working with Jay-Z. "When I was 16 years old and trekking into Columbia Records with my Timberlands on and my headphones on, I was riding on a train listening to [Jay-Z]," she says. "Fast-forward [all] these years later, and we're both from New York. [We] have this really powerful song that resonates with the world, because it's about achieving your dreams."
Alicia says there are still a few artists on her duet "wish list." "I'd love to work with Kings of Leon," she says. "I love an artist named M.I.A. who's like really kind of quick. She has her own style. I love that."
But, who's number one on her list? "I'd love to work with Prince," she says.
Ten years in the music business changes some artists, but Alicia says she's managed to stay grounded because of her family and her foundation, Keepa Child Alive.
"I think really being conscious about others is a very big part of what keeps me grounded," she says. "I'm able to really see what happens in the world. … I understand people's experiences."
Alicia says her work in Africa helps her understand life's big picture.
"It makes you feel good, and I feel like you learn so much about yourself. You learn that there's more than just what meets the eye, in our four walls," she says. "It makes you feel like kind of superfly."
Since the release of her album, The Element of Freedom, Alicia set out on another world tour, which she's calling The Freedom Tour.
"It's amazing," she says. "This time, I have to say, I feel more powerful and more strong than ever before. … I feel more motivated, more dedicated, more focused."