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Alicia Keys Moonlights as a Best-Selling Author

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RISE UP After you’ve spent a month conversing almost exclusively with family members, it’s a treat to hear Alicia Keys’ voice over the phone. Even more refreshingly, the 15-time Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, actress, producer, entrepreneur, and activist doesn’t play down her excitement over the success of her memoir, “More Myself.” She says, “I made it to the best-seller list and I’m ecstatic!”

Keys describes her book, currently at No. 9 on the hardcover nonfiction list, as “the honest journey of how I found my way to becoming who I am as opposed to being what I’ve been told to be.” The book begins when she’s 7 and follows her path to stardom, potholes, and all — including reflections on her father’s absence and the shame she felt, at 19, when she was manipulated into posing provocatively at her first magazine cover shoot. After that, she writes, “I swear that I will never again let someone rob me of my power.”

Working on the book was cathartic for Keys — a process she describes as “getting down recollections, thinking, realizing, uncovering, starting, stopping, ebbing and flowing.” She didn’t know her co-writer, Michelle Burford, beforehand but now, she laughs, “I know her better than anyone on the planet. I never had a better therapist.” Of the difference between putting words on a page and setting them to music, Keys says, “With any creative endeavor, you’re on the line — with people’s judgment, with your own idiosyncrasies and neuroses. You’re going to have fear. You’re going to have to overcome the fear. You’re going to have doubts. You’re going to overcome the doubt. You’re going to have anxiety. You’re going to overcome the anxiety.”

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This star is just like us: Alicia Keys is listening to music, reading books with her kids and snacking frequently.Credit…Taylor Jewell/Invision, via Associated Press

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