Alicia Keys Slams Sleazy Photographer For 'Manipulating' Her At 19

Amid the coronavirus quarantine, Alicia Keys pushed back the release of new album, but the R&B titan still delivered her memoir, More Myself. The release arrived with several revelations about the titan’s career, including an unfortunate moment of manipulation when she was just 19.

In the new release, Keys, 39, said that she was "manipulated" by a photographer into opening her shirt and pulling down the top of her jeans. “My spirit is screaming that something is wrong, that this feels sleazy. But my protests, lodged in the back of my throat, can’t make their way out,” Keys wrote of the shoot. "I swallow my misgivings, tuck my thumb between the denim and my skin, and obey."

Keys was preparing for the release of her 2001 debut album, Songs in A Minor, and felt bad about the shoot afterward, so she went home and let out some tears. "This isn’t about me showing some skin, which I’ll do on my own terms, for my own purposes, in the coming years," she wrote. "It’s about feeling manipulated. It's about being objectified."

Unfortunately, the shoot, particularly those scantily-clad photos, made their way to the cover of Dazed magazine a few months later. Keys said she was "embarrassed" and "ashamed" by the front of the mag. "I now understand why the photographer wanted my team out of that room," she reflected. "A nineteen-year-old girl is more pliable than a set of her grown-ass managers."

Needless to say, her manager at the time was appalled by the cover. "I swear that I’ll never again let someone rob me of my power,” Keys wrote, adding, "It's a promise I still work to keep." More Myself is available for purchase via Flatiron Books.

Photo: Getty Images

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