Alicia Keys: 15 Things You Didn’t Know (Part 2)

We already brought you part one of our list of 15 things you probably did not know about Alicia Keys, and now we’re back with part two! Check out eight more fascinating facts about the singer and musician that you definitely (probably) did not know below. You might be surprised by what you find out!

Number Eight: She Was on The Cosby ShowWay before she hit it as a superstar, Keys was cast as an extra on The Cosby Show. She played the role of one of Rudy’s friends, and she also sat on Bill Cosby’s knee.

Number Seven: She Controlled the Empire State Building. After Keys released her hit single “Empire State of Mind,” the people who run the lights on the Empire State Building took notice. She was given the opportunity to create her own light show that went along with the song.

Number Six: She Was the Best-Selling R&B Artist of 2001. Keys’ debut album, Songs in A Minor, sold 12 million copies and earned her the title of best-selling R&B artist of 2001. She also received five Grammy awards for the album.

Number Five: She Is an Only Child. Keys was born in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York, and she does not have any siblings. Her mother was a paralegal and a part-time actress, and her father was a flight attendant.

Number Four: She Began Writing Songs at a Very Young Age. Keys was just 14 years old when she began writing music. She first started studying music when she was seven years old, and she enrolled in the Professional Performing Arts School when she was 12 years old. She graduated as valedictorian of her class when she was 16 years old.

Number Three: She Is a College Dropout. Keys signed with Columbia Records, and she was also accepted to Columbia University. Though she tried to manage doing both, she could not, and she ended up dropping out of the university.

Number Two: She Was Almost Alicia Wilde. Keys wanted to call herself Alicia Wilde, but her manager apparently had a dream that she should name herself Alicia Keys because it represented her as a person and a performer, so she went with that.

Number One: She Was on an Episode of Empire. Keys was on an episode of the hit show Empire in November. Though it’s unclear what her future will hold, what is clear is that she shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon.