Alicia Keys’ New Book Looks to the Past to Find Herself

She spent the past two years writing the book, taking time to deeply reflect on her life and bare it all. She opens about her mother rustling with the decision to keep her child after finding out she was pregnant after just briefly dating Keys’ father, and decades later, Keys learning she was already four months pregnant with her second child, and her own decision to keep the baby even though she said it came at “the worst time ever” since she was working on a new album and her husband had gotten into Harvard Business School. She also said she had been drinking a lot.

Keys even dropped out of Columbia University, forgoing a scholarship, to pursue her career and first record deal at, funnily enough, Columbia Records. But things didn’t work out and she eventually parted ways with the label. Later, she signed with Clive Davis and his J Records label imprint through Sony.

Davis, the legendary music executive who has made superstars of Whitney Houston and Barry Manilow and created second acts for Aretha Franklin and Carlos Santana, personally wrote Oprah Winfrey about his new signee and asked her to book Keys for her top-rated talk show. After watching Keys perform, she did.

Almost 20 years later, Winfrey and Keys are close friends, and “More Myself” is being released through the media icon’s An Oprah Book imprint via Flatiron Books (all of Winfrey’s proceeds under her imprint go to support the Boys and Girls Club of Kosciusko).