Saturday, May 18, 2024

Pop: Alicia Keys Leaves RCA Records After 22 Years, Puts Out Christmas Album on Her Own Label


Alicia Keys has left the building.

Twenty two years after her hit debut album, Keys has exited RCA Records. Her new album, a Christmas collection called “Santa Baby,” was dropped without much warning today on Alicia Keys Records.

“Santa Baby” can be streamed only on Apple Music and iTunes, not on Spotify. CDs and LPs will be available next month.

In addition to Christmas favorites, Keys has also recorded John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s “Happy Xmas (War is Over.” There are also four original songs.

The end of the Keys-RCA relationship was foreshadowed some time ago. It’s crazy to say because she’s still very young, but Alicia is considered a legacy artist. She doesn’t sell a lot of records anymore — who does? She’s in the same boat as everyone over 40. She almost had a hit with “Underdog,” a couple of years ago but narrow minded radio programmers didn’t do much with it.

Alicia started at Columbia Records in 1999, was dropped by them, then rescued by Clive Davis’s new J Records (distributed by RCA’s parent company at the time) in 2000. Eventually Davis sold J to RCA and Keys continued there all this time. She has a lot of hits under her belt including “If I Ain’t Got You” and “Fallin’,” and, of course, “Empire State of Mind.”

No word yet on how Alicia Keys Records will work but we’ll stay on top of any news.

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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