Alicia Keys' music saviour
Alicia Keys says music saved her from a troubled youth.
The 'No One' singer grew up in the tough Hell's Kitchen district of New York and revealed her single mother Terri Augello sent her to dance and music lessons to keep her off the streets.
She said: "It was the best thing she ever did for me. I'd go and hang out with my friends, but would only do it for 45 minutes as I had to get to my next class. My extracurricular lessons gave me a real sense of focus and drive and they helped to keep me out of trouble."
The 27-year-old singer has also spoken openly again about carrying a knife for protection when she was a teenager.
She added to Britain's Sunday Times News Review magazine: "Gang culture was everywhere and there were altercations all the time. You'd often find yourself in situations where you wished you had something more than just your hands. So I would carry around a little shank, a home made knife.
"When my mother found it she was so upset and couldn't understand why I had it. I needed a knife, just in case. I definitely understand that feeling of wanting to protect yourself."
Alicia Keys' latest album 'As I Am' is available now.
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