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Top 10 Alicia Keys Songs

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Script written by Q.V. Hough Alicia Keys is one of the most talented musicians of our time! For this list we’re taking a look a her 10 best songs! We’ve included songs like Empire State of Mind (Part II) Broken Down, You Don’t Know My Name, Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart, Girl on Fire, Fallin, No On, Karma, If I ain’t Got You, Un-Thinkable and a Woman’s Worth.
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Top 10 Alicia Keys Songs


If there's anyone who knows about tickling the ivories, it's this gal!

Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Alicia Keys Songs.

For this list, we’re counting down the most iconic Alicia songs, and we’re focusing only on official studio releases.





#10: “Like You’ll Never See Me Again”

As I Am (2007)




Romantic and emotional, this song is a classic Alicia slow jam. Recorded for her third studio release, “Like You Never See Me Again” features the New York native yearning and burning for idealistic love. You can just feel every word with this track, as Alicia expresses the importance of cherishing every moment as if it’s your last. Produced in collaboration with Kerry Brothers Jr., the song celebrates living in the moment, and the underlying melody beautifully adds to the organic vibe. It’s a feel-good song, and Alicia works wonders with her vocalizations.



#9: “Empire State of Mind (Part II) Broken Down”

The Element of Freedom (2009)



As the follow-up to Alicia’s famous collaboration with Jay-Z, this track takes a softer, more subtle musical approach than the original. While Part II is indeed written specifically about the Big Apple, it’s a song that can translate to any young city-slicker, and to all those times when you’re feeling confident-yet-cautious about the future. It’s an ideal production for Alicia live shows; one of those inspiring songs about truly living in the moment, regardless of your location.





#8: “You Don’t Know My Name”

The Diary of Alicia Keys (2003)




For such a modern artist like Alicia Keys, it’s always a treat when she drops a retro jam. “You Don’t Know My Name” definitely comes from the old school, as the Kanye-produced track samples Main Ingredient’s 1975 hit “Let Me Prove My Love to You.” However, it’s Alicia’s vocal runs and control that fuels the production. Rather than a traditional pop song, it’s more like a short story, in which Alicia accentuates all the anticipation and worry that comes with potential love. It’s smooth and sexy, especially with that surprise appearance from Mos Def in the Chris Robinson-directed music video.


#7: “Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart”

The Element of Freedom (2009)



Perhaps the definitive track from Alicia’s fourth studio release, this song has been widely praised for its Prince-like qualities. With that being said, Alicia makes it her own with soaring vocals and harmony. Complemented by a heavy drum backdrop, Alicia’s vocal urgency supports the central concept, as she’s clearly caught up in love and is trying to move on from a failed relationship. And so, “Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart” is far more than just your typical R&B jam, as it feels timely, fresh and loaded with Alicia’s trademark passion.


#6: “A Woman’s Worth”

Songs in A Minor (2001)



Given the amount of Alicia hits over the years, it can be easy to overlook this early classic. Get this: Alicia actually produced “A Woman’s Worth” herself, and while she most definitely sounds like a young artist, the production quality highlights just how talented she was at such an age. Given that Alicia was still relatively unknown at the time of release, this track essentially announced her arrival, expressing her artistry and fondness for retro soul, supported by her outstanding vocal abilities. Two weeks after the song’s release, Alicia took the Grammy stage to perform it at only 21 years old.


#5: “Un-Thinkable (I’m Ready)”

The Element of Freedom (2009)



Released as the fourth single from 2009’s “The Element Of Freedom”, “Un-Thinkable” communicates the anxiety that comes with forbidden love, boosted by the fresh R&B sound and Alicia’s flair for romance and passion. But it’s the melodic chorus stacked with high-pitched vocals where Alicia really shines, accompanied by the one and only Drake on backing vocals. This track unsurprisingly spent three months atop the R&B charts, and certainly made plenty of late-night playlists. With a music video featuring the dreamy Chad Michael Murray as Keys’ love interest, this song had groove and emotion, but also a pertinent message about the stigmas surrounding interracial relationships.



#4: “Girl on Fire”

Girl on Fire (2012)




Truly a feminist anthem, this Alicia classic led the promotional campaign for her fifth studio release. It’s a powerful track, both musically and conceptually, as Alicia throws a shout-out to the strong-willed females of the world, balancing the heavy drumbeat with some elegant runs. Perhaps most impressively, Alicia seems joyous and rebellious, wailing each line as if she’s singing for each and every woman. “Girl on Fire” actually samples Billy Squier’s 1980 song “The Big Beat,” with the throbbing drums supporting the fierce lyrics. It’s a song you won’t soon forget, and it showcases Alicia’s progression as an artist and role model.



#3: “If I Ain’t Got You”

The Diary of Alicia Keys (2003)




Beginning with a gorgeous piano intro, this track features our girl stripping life down to its core. Written and produced entirely by Alicia, “If I Ain’t Got You” emerged after the death of fellow musician Aaliyah, and her lyrics express a woman disinterested by material possessions and wealth. Vocally, Alicia harmonizes with ease as the slow and bluesy instrumental provides the mood. In terms of early 21stcentury pop culture, it’s songs like this that separate Alicia from others and show why’s she’s become a huge inspiration for future singers.



#2: “No One”

As I Am (2007)




In 2007, this Alicia hit took over the radio, ultimately winning the Grammy for Best R&B Song. Through a simple yet relatable message, Alicia makes it easy for people to connect, and when she sings that beautiful chorus, it’s clear that she truly means NO ONE, NOBODY can get in her way. It’s become one of Alicia’s most recognizable songs, and much like “Girl on Fire,” its anthemic qualities are strengthened by Keys’ vocal performance and the head-nodding beat. As the lead single for Alicia’s third studio release, “No One” kept her on the charts across the world – yet another brilliant single.





Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.



“Doesn’t Mean Anything”

The Element of Freedom (2009)



“Karma”

The Diary of Alicia Keys (2003)




“Brand New Me”

Girl on Fire (2012)




#1: “Fallin’”

Songs in A Minor (2001)



When it’s all said and done, this is the song that put Alicia Keys on everyone’s map. Blending slow blues with the vocal stylings of neo-soul, “Fallin’” has that old school feel, and the music video introduced this fresh new face of 21st century R&B. Though Alicia’s performance is magnetic, and the track had an immense effect on pop culture, what’s really amazing is that she wrote and produced the track herself. It’s a sultry and seductive pop song, and Alicia scales the keys like nobody’s business. It’s a timeless Alicia production that had everybody talking in 2001, as this girl was clearly on FIRE.
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