Singer Alicia Keys has won a slew of awards and amassed a following of millions of fans. Still, as she reveals in her new book, “More Myself,” the person she presented to the masses was far from the real deal. In the book, she bares bitter-sweet truths, including the reality that she would look in the mirror and not recognize the woman staring back at her.
The 39-year-old mother of two and wife to mega producer Swizz Beatz is set to release the autobiography March 31. In it, she shares how she has had to grapple with the masks she has worn throughout her life.
In an excerpt obtained by PEOPLE, Keys writes, “I was building my life around this image of perfection, and it was really oppressive. I was clearly a woman who wanted to talk about truth and empowerment and strength, but when I really looked at myself, I realized that my whole life I’ve kind of been putting on a mask.”
Keys may have kept fans falling in love with her penned verses, but as she reveals in her book, she was unable to write away the void left by her father.
For me, a seed of worthlessness was planted in childhood. As well-intentioned as Craig [her father] was, and as much as he was dealing with in his own life, his absence impacted me in ways I’m still uncovering. It left a hole in me,” wrote Keys.
As her career took off, she shares, and the words of her secret-keeping diary converted into monetary wealth, her account of personal worth became overdrawn.
Keys details how a sabbatical in Egypt, finding love with her husband and ridding herself of society’s lifestyle and beauty standards helped her discover herself.
“I wasn’t fake, but I was trying to live up to all these fake ideals. It was like a habit. I had to start to break it,” explained the mother of sons Egypt, 9, and Genisis, 5. “I feel more like an open book. That’s a beautiful thing.”