Alicia “The Princess of Soul” Keys has revealed just how personal her new album ‘The Element of Freedom’ is. The record was written about her depressed feelings following the death of her grandmother. “With the last album, I was really trying to find myself and I was feeling extremely overworked.” Alicia says. “I was snappy, I was nasty, I was mean, losing my grandmother during that time as well. Everything felt like it could all just tumble down at once. I was also starting to understand that I was dealing with certain people in business that were not really for me and they all had their intentions and thoughts.” Explaining further about the recording of her fourth album, Alicia went on to add: “I found more freedom. Now there’s a mixture of strong and delicate. A new sound, a new emotion. That’s a lot of who I am right now. In the past, I was locking myself in the studio because I thought it was the only way to create music. This was a more casual way to do it.” The Element of Freedom is Alicia’s fourth studio album and will be released on December 15, 2009.
Keys is the co-founder and Global Ambassador of Keep a Child Alive, a non-profit organization that provides medicine to families with HIV and AIDS in Africa.Keys and U2 lead singer Bono recorded a cover version of Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush’s “Don’t Give Up”, in recognition of World AIDS Day 2005. Keys and Bono’s version of the song was retitled “Don’t Give Up (Africa)” to reflect the nature of the charity it was benefiting. She visited African countries such as Uganda, Kenya and South Africa to promote care for children affected by AIDS. Her work in Africa was documented in the documentary Alicia in Africa: Journey to the Motherland and was available in April 2008.]
Keys has also donated to Frum tha Ground Up, a non-profit organization that aids children and teenagers with scholarships. She performed in Philadelphia Pennsylvania, as part of the worldwide Live 8 concerts to raise awareness of the poverty in Africa and to pressure the G8 leaders to take action.