Alicia Keys feels "blessed" to be raised by a single mother
The 29-year-old R&B singer`s father walked out when she was just two, leaving her to be raised by her mother in a rough New York neighbourhood. Her childhood was a constant struggle, but Alicia is convinced it made her the capable, driven woman she is today.
She is glad she didn`t grow up in a traditional, middle-class home, and thanks God every day that her mother was so tough and empowered.
"I think the idea we are meant to have a perfect little house with one older brother, one younger sister, a dog and two parents isn`t always the case," Alicia explained.
"I had a really strong, driven mother. I think my upbringing was very positive and showed me a lot about life. I feel really blessed about the way I was raised. Family comes in many varieties. I think that`s what makes it beautiful."
Alicia went on to become one of the most successful female R&B performers of all time, selling more than 30 million albums worldwide. She is now a multi-millionaire, but says fame and fortune haven`t changed her. She insists she is still the same girl she always was, only a little more savvy and "wise".
"I`ve learned, I`ve got more experience, but fundamentally I`m still the same person," Alicia explained to British newspaper The Daily Mirror. "I`ve just become smarter, wiser, more aware how to conduct my business, what works for me and what doesn`t.
"People tell me all the time that I`m still the same person they`ve always known."