Alicia Keys is promoting her upcoming autobiography, More Myself, and she released a particularly vulnerable selection to People ahead of next week’s release. In the new excerpt, the 39-year-old singer revealed that she and her husband, rapper and producer Swizz Beatz, considered an abortion when Keys became pregnant for a second time in 2014. She wrote:
“I wasn’t ready for this, which is what I told the doctor. ‘This is the worst time ever. I’m working on my next album. My husband just got into Harvard Business School. And I’ve been drinking—a lot.’ I left her office feeling so torn.”
Keys explained that at the time, her career was more important to her than anything.
“The music I was creating felt more important and urgent than just about everything. I’d have to put off its release for at least a year if I chose to have the baby.”
However, it was her work that ultimately led her to the decision to carry the pregnancy to term.
“While I was struggling over my choice, I went into the studio one evening and began listening to ‘More Than We Know,’ a song Swizz and I had written. The lyrics are about how we’re capable of so much more than we can ever imagine. My eyes filled with tears. How could I take away the potential for this beautiful child, this light that could touch others in ways I couldn’t dream of. For me, the song was a powerful message that I should go on with the pregnancy.”
While she was writing the book, Keys learned that her mother, Teresa Augello, considered an abortion when she became pregnant with Keys. Augello became pregnant after a short relationship with Key’s father, who left Augello a single mother after they split. Keys explained:
“It wasn’t until writing this that I realized, ‘Oh s—, she chose me’, even through all the difficulties. How would she ever know what I was brought here to do? In a way we are parallel, but I didn’t even know that.”
“Recently with Genesis, we were playing with his Dragon Ball Z characters. He had them all fighting all the time, so I asked Genesis’s guy if my guy could be his friend. He goes, ‘Why do you need me to be your friend?’ I was like, ‘Look how I look, all scary with talon feet. Everybody gets scared of me when they see me but they don’t really know the inside of me.
“There’s all these other sides within us. Maybe people don’t really ever know you until they can see under all of those layers.”