5 secrets from Alicia Keys’ new book, ‘More Myself’

In January, Alicia Keys hosted the Grammys for the second year in a row — after winning 15 gramophones of her own. And in her new book, “More Myself” (Flatiron Books) out Tuesday, the New York native, 39, reveals her journey to becoming a Grammy goddess. Here are five secrets that she shares in opening up the diary of her life.

She knew Times Square before it became “Disneyland.”
A Hell’s Kitchen baby, Keys recalls seeing the prostitutes near Times Square as a young girl. “There on the corner stand three women, each rubbing her hands together to stay warm,” she writes about a “dead-cold day” on 11th Avenue. “All in brightly colored knit dresses with hemlines that end miles above their knees.”

She had a MeToo moment before MeToo.
As a 19-year-old prepping for her debut album, “Songs in A Minor,” to drop in 2001, Keys had a MeToo moment shooting one of her first magazine covers. “As I dress, the photographer somehow convinces my team that he’ll need to shoot me alone,” she writes. “‘Open up your shirt a little,’ he directs… ‘Pull the top of your jeans down a bit in the front,’ he urges … I swallow my misgivings, tuck my thumb between my denim and my skin, and obey.”

Alicia Keys' book.
Alicia Keys’ book.Amazon

A piano from a neighbor changed her life.
While visiting neighbors in the Ninth Avenue building of Manhattan Plaza in the spring of 1987, Keys and her mother got a life-changing gift in an upright piano. Their neighbors were moving — and all the singer and her mom had to do was move those keys to their tower on 10th Avenue. “Since that afternoon that piano was scooted into the center of our living room, little has been the same,” she writes.

She took her first big check to Bergdorf’s.
After getting her first major check, she went to Bergdorf Goodman for the very first time. “If you’ve ever roamed the aisles of Bergdorf’s, then you understand how forcefully desire can grab you by the collar,” writes Keys, who ended up putting three of five items back at the register, only keeping a leather jacket and a pair of high-top sneakers.

“Empire State of Mind” almost didn’t happen for her.
Her 2009 smash with Jay-Z — an ode to New York City — almost slipped through Keys’ fingers. “For weeks, Jay had been reaching out to my manager about the collaboration,” she writes, “and when that went nowhere, he nearly gave up and called on another artist.”

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