A live CD/DVD package, Unplugged, arrived in 2005 and followed Keys’ two previous releases to the top of the charts, even if it failed to win any of the four Grammys for which it was nominated. As I Am became her fourth consecutive number one album, and she was nominated for another handful of Grammys as a result, with “Superwoman” winning the award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance in early 2009. As the year drew to a close, Keys returned to the top of the Billboard charts with “Empire State of Mind,” a Jay-Z single that featured her vocals, and released her fourth studio album, The Element of Freedom. Although it went platinum, The Element of Freedom reached number one in the U.K., marking Keys’ first chart-topping album in Europe and highlighting her status as a global artist.
During the next two years, Keys married producer Swizz Beatz, gave birth to a son, collaborated with Eve on the single “Speechless,” appeared somewhere in Kanye West’s “All of the Lights,” and went on a brief tour in celebration of her debut album’s tenth anniversary. In 2012, she released Girl on Fire, her fifth studio album. It was issued on RCA that November and featured collaborations with her husband, as well as Sandé, Salaam Remi, Jeff Bhasker, Frank Ocean, and John Legend. In the U.S., it became her fifth number one album and went gold. Keys’ recorded activity the next year involved a collaboration with Kendrick Lamar, as heard on the soundtrack of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and a pair of socially conscious solo tracks, “We Are Here” and “We Gotta Pray.”
After Keys gave birth to her second son with Swizz Beatz, she released another single, “28 Thousand Days,” and appeared in the second season of Empire, for which she recorded “Powerful” with series co-star Jussie Smollett. The following May, Keys released “In Common” as a prelude to her sixth studio album and made her third musical guest appearance on Saturday Night Live.
Sourced by Billboard.com
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