Alicia Keys has been notoriously quiet about her private life -- causing some to speculate about a variety of possible romantic entanglements. But in a February cover story for Jane magazine, the reticent singer comes closest to revealing who she's involved with and what her plans for the future are.
For starters, despite claiming otherwise in the past, Keys came clean to Jane about Keys not being her real last name. Her mother's last name was Augello, her father's was Cook, and Alicia almost picked Wilde as her nom de R&B when she was 16. But her manager suggested "Keys" after a "crazy dream" he had about needing to unlock a briefcase.
"I was like, 'Keys? I play the piano keys, and keys unlock doors. Wow, that's perfect.' It described me, what I loved to do, what I wanted to do," she told the mag. "I believe in names. I believe your name definitely reflect your future."
Then is there something to read into how her main collaborator, New York MC and producer Kerry "Krucial" Brothers, whom she's known since she was a teenager, formed a company with her called Krucial Keys? About how that reflects both their futures?
"Kinda like he took her last name," Jane points out.
Keys acknowledged that she's been with the same person for quite some time now, and that she sees herself as being with that same person when she starts a family. Is that person Krucial, Jane asked point blank?
"Well. Well ... You know, I have to say, the person I'm with is really special," Keys said after smiling playfully. "And I'm lucky because when I go out with friends to parties, I say to myself, 'Self, what in the hell would you do if you didn't have somebody who loved you?' I mean, really. I look at these guys and it's like, 'Who are you? What do you even think about and what are you representing? Do you even know me? And do you want to know me or ... ?' It's scary. And I think about how uncomfortable I would feel trying to find love among so much falseness. So I feel very, very, very blessed to have someone so special to me. Someone who I know cares about me. That's what it's about. I'm pretty lucky."
Jane's writer responded, "I'm taking that as a yes."
This doesn't necessarily mean Keys is raring to get married -- she explained that she doesn't want a husband or a baby before she's 30. "I want to live my life," Keys said. "I want to give myself the opportunity to grow as a woman and as someone creative."
That includes making a pilgrimage to Africa with the organization Keep a Child Alive to visit orphanages filled with kids suffering from AIDS, winning an Oscar to keep her Grammys company, finishing college, writing more books, scoring a film, and establishing the next Motown with Krucial Keys.
"We created this sound, and this sound is what the world is falling in love with when they hear my music," she said of her partnership with Brothers. "We're like a Motown, where it's all inclusive. And you come to one place. We have our studio, we have our writers, we have our producers, we have everything you need to come to one place and create timelessness."
After accomplishing all these and other goals, "I'll be ready to start a family. When I'm 35."