"I want to be Alicia Keys!" Katie Couric declared on her show last week. Keys was a guest and had just performed a song from her new album, Girl on Fire (released today: 11/27). At this point you can probably guess that this post isn't about my desire to be Katniss Everdeen (not this time at least).
Admittedly, I've never considered myself a big Alicia Keys fan. True, I love many of her singles and find her vocal and musical talent incredible. Still, it wasn't until learning more about her last week that I began to think we should all be more like Alicia Keys.
I realize not all of us can sing like she can or play piano like she can or even write songs like she can. We can't all produce our own music either, or were the valedictorian of our high school class, but I'm not talking about all that. Last week I learned more about her philanthropic efforts and found myself inspired, impressed and a little surprised that I didn't already know all she does. But, maybe that's intentional: Keys not telling her right hand what the left is doing. Gotta love that.
In 2003 she co-founded and has since been a global ambassador for Keep a Child Alive, an organization dedicated to supporting children and families affected by the AIDS virus. She is also a spokesperson for the organization Frum tha Ground Up, which is dedicated to helping and inspiring American youths to achieve success on any levels. Keys's other philanthropic efforts, contributions are many. After some research though, these two seem the most prominent.
It's common practice of many to blame magazines and media for giving people, women specifically, unhealthy self images. These people will see photos of nameless models and strive to be like them. Here's what I'd like to see: Alicia Keys and other people of interest like her on every magazine cover. It's these women, these people, we should aspire to be more like.
So Katie, I too want to be Alicia Keys.
Oh and one more thing. Alicia Keys doesn't seem to take herself too seriously, proved by this recent performance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon of the Gummi Bears theme song: