She's soulful, by any standard

Despite sky-high ambition, Alicia Keys stays grounded in her music

June 15, 2008|By Rashod D. Ollison | Rashod D. Ollison,Sun pop music critic

Alicia Keys has aspirations of being a rock star, belting over screaming guitars. She also sees herself as a jazz chanteuse, elegantly dressed while scat-singing and improvising melodies on her beloved piano. Then she wants to do more acting -- some drama, maybe comedy -- and establish more charitable efforts. The list of things she wants to accomplish goes on and on.

But it's not as if the pop superstar with the seductive, camera-ready face hasn't done a lot already. At 27, with a career that's barely a decade old, she owns 11 Grammys and four multiplatinum albums. Along with Beyonce, she is one of the most visible, lauded pop performers of her generation. Still, Keys wants to confound your expectations of her -- especially in the realm of music.

On stage Alicia Keys performs with Jordin Sparks at 7:30 tonight at the 1st Mariner Arena, 201 W. Baltimore St. Tickets are $47.50 to $98. Call 410-547-7328 or go to

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