Friday, June 21, 2024

Exclusive: Alicia Keys Eyeing Free Agent Status, Leaving Sony-RCA After 22 Years


Alicia Keys is key to this generation of singer-songwriters. Her track record and list of hits is top of the heap after two decades.

But like John Mayer, I’m hearing Keys is also considering leaving the label home she started with and stuck with for the last two decades.

Keys’ career started with being signed to Columbia Records at Sony. But when nothing materialized there, Clive Davis signed her to his new J Records. The result was “Fallin'” and the album “Songs in A Minor,” which sold 12 million copies worldwide in 2001.

Since then Keys has from success to success. But a new chapter is about to begin. The multi talented singer-songwriter-musician has fulfilled her last contract, signed in 2018, and is looking to make a new deal. Or who knows? Mayer left Sony a few weeks ago, and I’ve heard he may just go album by album to the highest bidder.

Life with record labels is changing, especially for established artists. Money isn’t always the only consideration. (Look at Verve Records, home of the newly minted Grammy winner Jon Batiste. He was signed there during a previous administration by former chief Danny Bennett.) So stay tuned. Meantime, Keys released a new video this week for the track “City of Gods (Part II).”

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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