Alicia Keys Says She Would Never Return To Her 20s Even If Someone Paid Her
Alicia Keys is looking back at her 20s and is more than happy she's in a different place. The singer revealed what made that decade so hard for her.
Alicia Keys happy to be moving up
Alicia Keys is looking back at her life and reflecting on a decade that she is proud to be rid of. The singer revealed what made her 20s so challenging, and says that she's happy to never go back!
Keys first came onto the scene at 20 years old with her album Songs in A Minor, which earned her a Billboard No. 1 title and five Grammy awards, which set the tone for the singer for the next two decades.
Despite the wild success, the American icon is now sharing that she would never want to go back.
"I swear, I wouldn’t go back to being 20 if somebody paid me — it was literally the worst time ever," she said.
In an exclusive interview with InStyle, the superstar said, "I wanted to fit in so desperately. I was so blind, so dependent on everybody else’s opinions, so uncomfortable, so unclear."
Furthermore, in 2006, Keys suffered from an emotional breakdown while on set, and decided that she needed to leave and change the scenery.
This led the R&B sensation to travel solo to Egypt, where she discovered a lot about herself.
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We couldn't be more proud to present our July cover, starring @aliciakeys. And yes, this was shot by her children and husband. We gotta be resourceful in quarantine. #linkinbio for more on the legendary singer-songwriter and on how she's finding ways to stay hopeful. (Note: This interview and photoshoot took place in early May prior to the global protests surrounding George Floyd's death.) #aliciakeys Story by: @mrchrisbagley Photographed by: @therealswizzz, Egypt Dean, Genesis Dean Styled by @jasonbolden
"It was either get the hell away or just explode," she said.
Despite writing anthems for powerful women, Keys said they were written in part to convince herself of her own worth.
"There hasn’t been one that I wrote because I actually believed it at the time," she shared.
Now, Keys shares that she takes comfort in yoga and meditation, and is comfortable with her husband and two children.
She also shared that as she grew she's "been more able to love more fully in my skin, my imperfections, my feelings, which are so hard to access, because we want to protect our heart, right?"
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Even though optimism can seem more elusive than ever, #aliciakeys reminds us that the very act of remaining hopeful is a big part of the answer. "I really believe that we are it—we are what we're waiting for, what we're looking for." #linkinbio for more from our cover star.
"That’s what we’re all doing in some way," she said. "And I think my ability to access that place has brought a deeper connection to other people."
Keys also shared that strangely she's found that in order to stay humble, she is allowed to embrace blessings.
She said of her husband, "I was kind of cutting off my blessings. But I started to recognize, ‘Wow, I have this wrong'... Swizz is such a wild dreamer, and he loves beautiful art, beautiful clothes, and things that are well made. I’ve learned that I can totally remain humble but I don’t have to cut off the wonderful things that I deserve."
Despite the material, Keys maintains that her truest connection still lies with people.
"We’re only as good as our ability to connect with each other," she said. “Everything else is irrelevant."
Keys will appear on the July cover of InStyle, which hits shelves June 12.