Alicia Keys Insists She Would Not Go Back To Her 20s ‘If Somebody Paid Me’

Alicia Keys discusses the coronavirus crisis, remaining hopeful, and more in a new interview with InStyle.

The singer’s interview and photoshoot for the magazine took place in early May, prior to the global protests surrounding George Floyd’s death, with the shoot being photographed entirely by her family; husband Swizz Beatz and sons Egypt, 9, and Genesis, 5.

Keys, now 39, reveals why she’s glad she’s past her 20s in the interview: “I swear, I wouldn’t go back to being 20 if somebody paid me—it was literally the worst time ever,” despite the release of her debut album Songs In A Minor at age 20, which catapulted her to worldwide fame.

“I wanted to fit in so desperately. I was so blind, so dependent on everybody else’s opinions, so uncomfortable, so unclear.”

PHOTO BY SWIZZ BEATS, EGYPT DEAN AND GENESIS DEAN
PHOTO BY SWIZZ BEATS, EGYPT DEAN AND GENESIS DEAN

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She adds of remaining hopeful when it seems harder than ever: “You know, we do a really good job of judging each other and assuming who people are when we don’t even know them. To me, the most important thing we can do right now is take a second to see and appreciate each other as we are.

“I really believe that we are it—we are what we’re waiting for, what we’re looking for. The way we raise our kids, the way we choose to be with each other, the way we face the world—that is how things will start to shift.”

The musician talks about the coronavirus pandemic, revealing how she’s focusing on the upsides of the crisis — the value of “stripping away all the unnecessary things and really recognizing how much we need each other.”

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However, she’s loving the chill time, admitting “the amount of sweatpants I’ve been wearing has been amazing. And unfortunately, we’ve been doing a lot of baking. Cookies have been happening a whole lot.”

Read more in the July issue of InStyle, available on newsstands, on Amazon, and for digital download June 19.

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