It doesn’t have to be a Wednesday to say that Alicia Keys is WCW now and always, for wowing, amazing, and bringing us to tears with her soulful, unwavering voice and moving lyrics, as well as her work as an actress, producer, and activist.
Here are some of our favorite things about this Girl on Fire.
Keys won five Grammies with her very first album, which went 5X Platinum, but that’s not nearly all. She’s won 15 Grammies, 5 AMAs, and countless others, too many to name here. From this, you can glean that she’s got plenty of chart-toppers in her repertoire. But our favorite is Fallin’ off her debut album Songs in A Minor from 2001.
While there are plenty of songs about falling in and out of love with someone, this one may be the best at conveying the euphoric and, at the same time, heart-wrenchingly painful feelings of off-and-on romance in every note sung and key played.
She’s also been playing the piano since age seven, shortly after which time it became clear she was a child prodigy.
She’s been in multiple films and television series, including The Nanny Diaries, Smokin’ Aces, and most recently, Empire, the highest rated scripted program for 2014-15. Our favorite remains Keys as the cellist with a tough exterior (but truly kind and compassionate), June, in The Secret Life of Bees.
Keys cares about addressing the issues that “people aren’t really comfortable talking about,” as she stated at a discussion on education at the White House with Michelle Obama in 2014. She shared her own personal history when discussing The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete, a movie she co-produced about inner-city youth and their struggles.
Keys cofounded Keep a Child Alive, which helps bring care and support to those affected by AIDS and their families. In 2011, she traveled with five Americans to see the organization’s funded sites in South Africa and documented the whole process to bring awareness to their efforts.
In November 2015, she ran the NYC Marathon to raise funds for Keep a Child Alive. That’s no small feat.
For the above reasons and more, Alicia Keys is the embodiment of the lyrics in her song, Girl on Fire.
Looks like a girl, but she’s a flame…You can try but you’ll never forget her name.