Alicia Keys has remained an R&B mainstay since her 2001 Grammy Award-winning debut Songs In A Minor. Throughout her history on a major, Keys has been a force, delivering No. 1 hits and chart-topping albums.
Now, more than two decades into her career, she’s free of her contractual obligations to her longtime label home, Sony.
In the same Genius Twitter Spaces chat where JAY-Z firmly declared no one could touch the stage with him in a VERZUZ, Keys revealed she was an independent artist and got praise not only from Hov but her husband, Swizz Beatz.
“I’m so excited because KEYS is actually the last album I have on a major label,” she said. Swizz later shared a photo of Keys on Instagram Thursday (December 23) while wishing her success.
“Congrats my Love this is Big Big Big News and you deserve it to the MAX! 20yrs of greatness !” he wrote. “Groundbreaking and unforgettable moments ! I love that you have this freedom at this time in your life it’s rare!!!! Life begins now and this KEYS album is a true masterpiece that’s Raw uncut and no fake hype!!
“Thank you to everyone that supported since day one and those who now support ! @aliciakeys is just getting started let’s go [crown emojis] Shout out to all the independent woman around the world !!!!”
Upon hearing the news in the Spaces chat, Hov gave Keys her flowers.
“Congratulations, first of all, that’s an accomplishment,” he said. “The fact that you were signed to a label for twenty years is an amazing thing in itself, but the fact that you were able to complete your contract, not many people have been afforded that. That rarely happens for someone to maintain relevance through a contact like that.”
During her stay on Sony, Keys achieved massive success. Four of her first five albums, including a 2005 Unplugged album, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. In 2020, she was crowned by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) as the most certified female R&B act of the millennium, with 20 million certified albums and 27.5 million singles.
Her latest album KEYS is out now featuring guest appearances from Pusha T, Swae Lee, Lil Wayne, Khalid, Lucky Daye and more.