Alicia Keys embraces her true self after trying to live up to expectations of perfection

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Alicia Keys at Billboard Women In Music 2019. Photographed by Emma McIntyre
Alicia Keys at Billboard Women In Music 2019. Photographed by Emma McIntyre
Emma McIntyre

The 'No One' hitmaker was stuck trying to chase after this image of perfection, but she now realises it was actually really oppressive.

"I was building my life around this image of perfection, and it was really oppressive. I was clearly a woman who wanted to know about truth and empowerment and strength, but when I really looked at myself, I realised that my whole life I've kind of been putting on a mask," she told People Magazine.

The singer admits she was affected by her father's absence in her childhood.

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"For me, a seed of worthlessness was planted in childhood. As well-intentioned Craig was, and as much as he was dealing with his own life, his absence impacted me in ways, I'm still uncovering. It left a hole in me," she adds.

Alicia felt she was trying to "live up to all these fake ideas" as a young star. However, she is more authentic now.

"I wasn't fake, but I was trying to live up to all these fake ideas. It was like a habit. I had to break it, I feel like an open book. That's a beautiful thing," she says.

Compiled by Futhi Masilela

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