Alicia Keys is a trailblazer for a few elite Grammy crowds. At the 44th Annual Grammy Awards in 2002, the incomparable musician took home five trophies, including Best R&B Album and Best New Artist for her debut work, Song In A Minor. She also won two awards in the General Field: Best New Artist and Song of the Year (“Fallin’”). Keys’ win in the Song of the Year category was a huge milestone for female R&B performers. She became the first female R&B act to win as a lead performer and sole songwriter in the 43-year history of the songwriting category.
Keys earned her second Song of the Year nomination in 2005 for “If I Ain’t Got You” off her Grammy-winning album The Diary of Alicia Keys. Eight years later, at the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards, the second Song of the Year female R&B win went to Beyoncé for “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It).” Unlike Keys, Bey wasn’t the only lyricist awarded for their songwriting contributions to the seventh best-selling digital song of 2009.
Racking up 29 nominations and collecting 15 trophies in an impressive career that spans more than two decades can be tough, but Keys has managed to do it and make Grammy history as well. As the gifted musician prepares to host the biggest night in music on Sunday, here are four more Grammy highlights we uncovered.
1. In the 24-year history of the R&B Album category, Alicia Keys holds the record for the most wins with three.
Song In A Minor — 2002
The Diary of Alicia Keys — 2005
Girl on Fire — 2014
2. At the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards in 2011, Alicia Keys became the second female R&B artist to win Best Rap Song for “Empire State of Mind” featuring Jay Z.
3. Alicia Keys is the only female performer of the 2010s to have consecutive wins for Best R&B Female Vocal Performance.
“No One” — 2008
“Superwoman” — 2009
4. In 2002, Alicia Keys became the first R&B singer to win Best New Artist and Song of the Year (“Fallin’”) in one ceremony.