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09 June 2023

Alicia Keys: I struggle with self-worth

By Bang

Alicia Keys has "deeply struggled" with her "self-worth" over the years.

The 'Girl on Fire' hitmaker has admitted she has battled with "insecurities" since her childhood because her father wasn't around, and she often found herself "looking for his love".

She said: "I realised that I have deeply struggled with feelings of self-worth. That came from my mother and father. They ... My father didn't raise me, my mother raised me. I think I definitely was always looking for his love, to some degree, and feeling like I could never really access it, for many different reasons. And I think that started to give me insecurities."

Alicia was instead raised by just her mother, and thinks that having to "accommodate" her mother's feelings made her "lose [her] voice".

She added: "My mother was also a very, very strong-minded woman, mostly out of necessity, because to survive New York City streets as a single mother, it's hard as hell with a daughter. So, out of necessity, she's very emotions on her sleeve. And so then, I had to accommodate for her, and always kind of fix and dodge and make things right.

"Somehow, I lost my voice in there. Because I always had to accommodate for the protection of that relationship, to allow that relationship to function. I had to accommodate her. Because her style was her own. And she took up a lot of space in the room, you know what I mean?"

The 39-year-old singer - who has sons Egypt, nine, and Genesis, five, with her husband Swizz Beatz - believes she "learned" her self-worth struggle from her parents, and has only managed to let her feelings go in the last few years.

Speaking to Zane Lowe on Apple Music, she explained: "So, I learned that behaviour. And so, on top of, I think the fact that I felt maybe unloved by my father, although I never admitted it. I didn't feel like I did because I was like, 'Well, I don't really even know you, so how could I feel loved or unloved by someone you don't really know?' I did. And so, I felt I created and started to discover an insecurity that I carried with me my whole ... I mean, literally, it has been maybe four years that I finally don't hold that anymore."