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The scene in the film where Tom Hanks's character listens to opera on a record player notably affected Keys, who "never showed emotion very well".
Classical piano totally helped me to be a better songwriter and a better musician... And I understood how to put things together and pull it together and change it. It opened a lot of doors because it separated me from the rest. Keys remained so occupied with her various pursuits that she experienced her first burnout before adolescence.
Keys has received numerous accolades throughout her career, including 15 competitive Grammy Awards, 17 NAACP Image Awards, 12 ASCAP Awards, and awards from the Songwriters Hall of Fame and National Music Publishers Association.
As hard as [growing up in it was], I always felt very blessed about being able to recognize different cultures and styles, people and places.
Keys is also known for her humanitarian work, philanthropy and activism, and has received accolades for such work. But it helped show me what a strong woman my mother was, and made me want to be strong like her.
Keys co-founded and is the Global Ambassador of the nonprofit HIV/AIDS-fighting organization Keep a Child Alive. Probably, it was better for me this way.""I grew up in the middle of everything.
Keys attributed her unusual maturity as a young girl to her mother, who depended on her to be responsible while she worked to provide for them and give Keys as many opportunities as possible. She recalled her mother playing jazz records of artists like Thelonious Monk, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong on Sunday mornings, early musical moments Keys considers influential in kindling her interest in and emotional connection to music.
Inspired by the film Philadelphia, Keys wrote her first song about her departed grandfather on her piano by age 12.