Who are Alicia Keys' parents? Everything you need to know

Who are Alicia Keys' parents? Everything you need to know

Whenever people try to describe Alicia Keys, they think of her as a present-day Renaissance woman. When Keys entered the music scene in the late 1990s, she blended R&B and soul music. Her singing skills were so exceptional that she won 15 Grammy Awards and achieved enormous success in her entrepreneurial and philanthropic work. However, Keys' journey to stardom was not smooth. She struggled with self-esteem issues, lived with her mother in a one-bedroom apartment, and her father was nowhere in her life. But who are Alicia Keys’ parents?

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Who are Alicia Keys' parents?
Keys, mother Terri Augello, godfather Tony Fitts, and grandmother Vergil DiSalvatore (L-R). Photo: Johnny Nunez
Source: Getty Images

The singer was born Alicia Augello Cook on 25 January 1981 (age 41 as of 2022) in New York City, United States. She is the only child in her family and grew up in the Hell’s Kitchen Manhattan neighbourhood in New York City. Her parents were never in a relationship. And when she turned 14, she wrote a letter to her father telling him she wanted nothing to do with him. But here is everything you need to know about the parents.

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Who are Alicia Keys' parents?

Keys’ parents are Teresa Augello (mother) and Craig Cook (father). Teresa Augello worked as a paralegal and part-time actress, and Craig Cook was a flight attendant and later became a masseur. Although Keys is the only daughter of Teresa Augello, her father also had two other children, including Cole Cook.

Who are Alicia Keys' parents?
Keys' mother Teresa M. Augello attends the Keep A Child Alive's Black Ball Redux 2012 in New York City. Photo: Rob Kim
Source: Getty Images

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What nationality are Alicia Keys’ parents?

Alicia Keys' parents' nationality is American. Her mother was born on 8 May 1950 (age 72 as of 2022) in Detroit, Michigan, United States. Keys’ father was also born in the USA, but his date of birth remains unknown.

Does Alicia Keys have a white parent?

Alicia Keys' parents' ethnicity is different. Her mother is of mixed descent; she is Italian, Scottish, and Irish, and her father is African-American of Jamaican descent.

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Does Alicia Keys have a relationship with her father?

Alicia Keys' father, Craig Cook, left his family when she was two years old. As a result, she lived with her mother in a one-room apartment. Her mother even had to work three jobs to provide for her child.

While growing up, Keys had no relationship with her father. Then, at 14, Keys wrote a heartbreaking letter to her father telling him she wanted nothing to do with him. But the singer also admits that she wrote the letter dated 10 July 1994 from a place of vulnerability and longing.

Alicia’s perception of her father changed when she had her first son named Egypt. Her son forced her to reshape her life and sort out things with her father. Furthermore, her relationship with her father became even stronger when her paternal grandmother became ill around 2006. Finally, Keys saw how her father loved his mother and realised he was not an evil person.

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On 31 July 2010, Keys’ parents, Teresa and Cook, escorted her down the aisle as she married her long-time lover Swizz Beatz.

Who are Alicia Keys' parents?
Keys and mother Terri Augello during Verizon's Ladies First Tour in New York - April 12th 2004 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York, United States. Photo: Johnny Nunez
Source: Getty Images

Who are Alicia Keys' grandparents?

One can trace Alicia Keys' family tree from 1895, when her maternal great-grandfather, Michael Angello Augello, was born. Michael had a wife named Mary Zaffina Carmen. The couple had a child named Joseph Lawrence Augello (he later became a DJ and news director at radio station WOHO and was an actor in Lone Ranger and Green Hornet radio series).

Joseph Lawrence Augello married Donna Smith. Thus, Alicia Keys’ maternal grandparents are Joseph Lawrence Augello and Donna Smith. Alicia Keys' mother’s paternal grandparents were immigrants. They came from Sciacca in Sicily and Lamezia Terme in Calabria. Her mother’s maternal grandparents (Donna Smith’s parents) were Thad T. Smith and Irma Margaret Heald.

The singer's mother named her after her Puerto Rican godmother. Alicia Keys’ paternal grandmother is Vergil DiSalvatore. Unfortunately, Vergil DiSalvatore died in 2006. Her husband and Keys’ grandfather was Michael Cook. The diverse backgrounds make Alicia Keys' ethnicity multiracial, a factor the singer was comfortable with while growing up because she could relate to different cultures.

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Alicia Keys’ siblings

When Alicia Keys’ father left her, she went into another relationship that resulted in the birth of two more children. Thus, Keys has a half-brother named Cole Cook. However, the name of her other sibling remains unknown. Cole Cook was born on 24 March 1991 (age 31 as of 2022). His father is Craig Cook, and his mother is Susan Cook.

Alicia Keys' parents are Teresa Augello (mother) and Craig Cook (father). Her mother is of Scottish, Irish, and Italian descent and worked as a paralegal and part-time actress. Her father, Craig Cook, is African-American and worked as a flight attendant.

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