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"[It] taught me how to think fast, how to play the game...taught me leadership, how to get out of bad situations when you need to, how to hold my own." His brother had talked to him about Keys and advised him to go see her, but Robinson shrugged it off as he had "heard that story 1,000 times".At the time, Keys was part of a three-girl band that had formed in the Bronx and was performing in Harlem.She, along with Jack White, recorded "Another Way to Die" (the title song to the 22nd official James Bond film, Quantum of Solace).Her fourth album, The Element of Freedom (2009), became her first chart-topping album in the UK, and sold 4 million copies worldwide.Inspired by the film Philadelphia, Keys wrote her first song about her departed grandfather on her piano by age 12.
Living in the "musical melting pot" city, Keys had already been discovering other genres of music, including soul music, hip hop, R&B, and taken affinity to artists like Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield.
She credits her "tough" mother for anchoring her on a right path as opposed to many people she knew who ended up on the wrong path and in jail.
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.
Although she did not like to speak about her father in order to not feed stereotypes, Keys remarked in 2001: "I'm not in contact with him. I walked the streets alone, I rode the trains alone, I came home at three in the morning alone, that was what I did." "The city had a huge influence on me because it's such a diverse place.
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.
She connected with the cultural and racial diversity in the neighborhood, where she expanded upon her musical exploration, and her character was also solidified.