The Next Alicia Keys Might Be A Boy Named Mario

Music mogul Clive Davis unveils his latest protégé.

At Clive Davis’ annual Grammy Eve party last year, the music mogul rolled out his latest hot prospect, a singer/pianist named Alicia Keys. Twelve months later, she was Grammy’s golden girl, taking home five trophies.

So who did Davis introduce this year?

He may only be 13, but R&B singer Mario is poised to be the next Clive Davis-groomed success story. In fact, Keys produced two songs for the Baltimore native’s as-yet-untitled debut album, due in June.

Warren Campbell (Kelly Price, Sisqó) and Gerald Isaac (Mary J. Blige, Angie Stone) also handled production duties on the record, which Mario said he is putting the finishing touches on this month.

Walking the red carpet with Davis, the youngster said he does not feel any pressure to live up to Keys. “[Success comes from] just being yourself and being natural with what you do,” he said.

(Click for photos from the event.)

Mario, whose first single, the Campbell-produced “Just a Friend,” will hit the airwaves later in March, is confident he will be around a while. When asked if he was able to convince Keys to sing with him, he answered, “Nah, it’s not a duet. Maybe next album.”

Later at Davis’ party, Mario showed his confidence by performing Stevie Wonder’s “Knocks Me Off My Feet” to an audience packed with artists,
including Wonder himself.