At a home town launch for her new album, Here, the New York singer-songwriter talks about the US election, Black Lives Matter and modern family life. Alicia Keys has taken over Times Square, bringing five blocks of one of the busiest areas of the western world to its knees. Her “secret” gig tonight is not so secret. She’ll commandeer the epic digital billboards and her face – lightly freckled and without makeup, as is her way these days – will flash all over American Eagle Outfitters. Times Square is Keys’s back yard. She was born in Hell’s Kitchen in 1981 and grew up in a one-bedroom apartment on 43rd Street between 9th and 10th Avenue. Her teenage years coincided with the tenure of Mayor Rudy Giuliani: the street is now quietly gentrified, and features the Manhattan Plaza Health Club.
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