One of Alicia Keys' best records is turning ten years old in 2017. As I Am hit shelves on Nov. 9, 2007 as Keys' third studio album and was an immediate success right out of the gate. Its 742,000 units in first week sales set a new record for the most opening sales ever recorded by a female R&B artist and good enough for the album to debut at number one on the Billboard 200.
The record is best known for producing Keys' single "No One", which you can listen to by using the media player included with this article. The song, co-written by Keys, producer Kerry "Krucial" Brothers and George D. Harry, wound up being the most listened to song in the United States in 2007 - a remarkable accomplishment made even more impressive by the fact that the album didn't come out until the year was nearly over.
As I Am also contained two collaborations between Keys and Linda Perry ("Superwoman" and "Sure Looks Good To Me") as well as a track featuring John Mayer ("Lessons Learned") that earned critical acclaim. "Superwoman" earned Keys a Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance while "Lessons Learned" got her a nomination for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals in 2009.
But the team efforts weren't the only tracks that earned Keys new hardware for her mantel. "No One" was named Best R&B Song and recognized for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance in 2008 while Keys also grabbed three NAACP Image Awards and two American Music Awards. And in 2012, As I Am was named one of the best albums by a female artist of all time by Rolling Stone.
Ten years after its debut As I Am remains a high point in Keys' thoroughly successful and decorated career. In less than a year NME estimated that the album had already sold more than five million copies, and it would eventually be certified triple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. More importantly, songs like "No One" and "Superwoman" firmly established Keys as a can't miss female vocalist who didn't just make great music worth hearing - she also had something meaningful to say. It's that combination of outstanding musicianship with a real message that Keys remains famous for today, and this album is a fantastic example of everything she's capable of.
As I Am is available for download on iTunes.
For more on Alicia Keys, visit her artist page at AXS.