Within the past two weeks, it’s safe to say that singer/songwriter Alicia Keys has been a hot topic–atleast in my world. From the recently released pictures revealing her baby bump and “pregnancy glow” to her arriving to the BET Awards with her recently divorced fiance’ Swizz Beatz and her seductive piano crawl during her tribute to Prince, she’s buzzworthy. (FTR: pregnant or not, if I were singing “Adore,” I probably would have gotten up there, too. She was obviously feeling sexy, and if “Adore” doesn’t make you feel that way, something’s wrong.)
In that time, I’ve heard so many things. How dare she stand there, big and pregnant–smiling after she’s caused another woman so much pain? Either she’s a homewrecking, man-stealing hypocrite or just a woman in love living life. Swizz and his wife, Mashonda were already having problems, and you can’t take what wasn’t already yours, right?
Fast forward to her performance at the Essence Music Festival this past weekend. She, the headliner for Saturday night’s concert, had a hard row to pull. She followed a tough act–Gladys Knight, who, though I missed her, was awesome, according to others. She took the stage and it was…weird. There was an undeniable silence in the crowd that I didn’t expect. I looked behind me to see a woman sitting two rows back among empty seats with her arms tightly folded. With a mean side-eye, she said two words: Man-Stealer. Wow.
Alicia put on a decent show, but something was missing in the atmosphere. I checked Twitter out to see these tweets:
5hanel: Alicia Keys is almost working as hard as Breezy for redemption. Essence chicks aren’t fans of infidelity…No shade.
So that was the uncomfortable feeling I was getting?! Did she feel it, too? Swizz Beats is officially DIVORCED. They’re clearly together and happy. People, even her devoted fans, still have a serious problem with her relationship with then married Swizzy though. My question is this: When is Alicia going to address the issue or should she at all?
The more I look at the situation, the more it mirrors the Tiger Woods’ fiasco. Do celebrities’ indiscretions in their personal lives affect their business lives to the point where they owe their fans explanations or apologies? Will those two lines always cross for certain folks? All Tiger owed us was a great game of golf (as I said in my rant here), not a detailed apology to the world something that directly affected his wife.
What about Alicia? Should she be expected to give her fans the lowdown on her relationship with Swizz Beatz (because it’s clearly complicated) or is she only required to make good music? Unfortunately for celebrities, public relations is the name of the game, and it’s evident that Ms. Keys has not related to the public well. She has avoided the issue like The Plague, and her career might suffer because of it.
I’m neutral on the issue for now, but I know for sure her involvement with a married man doesn’t support her platform on women’s empowerment. She recently launched a website, www.iamasuperwoman.com. She writes on the homepage:
“Welcome to a powerful passionate, radiant, exciting, addictive, compassionate and loving virtual world called IAAS, which stands for I AM A SUPER WOMAN! For many of us, that is not just the title of a song, but a mantra. My friends and I at AK Worldwide are launching a new venture and would like you to join us. We’re creating a fresh new source for positive and inspiring news, a destination which will empower and link female voices and unleash the super woman in us all.”
I don’t know the entire story on her relationship and how it came to be, so I won’t speak on whether or not she’s being the source of inspiration and positivity she’s wanting to be to women. So what now? If you were Alicia, would you hide out until you give birth, then release a statement or tell everyone to kick rocks and keep doing your thing? She seems to have taken the latter approach, but at what cost?